Dianne Watts

Task force comes down on drug homes

Group met on Tuesday to discuss how to reduce the number of homicides occurring in this city.

If you’re associated with a drug house in this city, expect frequent visits from the RCMP and bylaw officers.

A mayor’s task force, made up of RCMP, crime analysts, a criminologist, bylaw officers, fire officials, city engineers and school district representatives met for the first time on Tuesday night.

The task force – created by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts to reduce the homicide rate in the city will be asking police to focus on known drug houses.

Watts said the two-hour meeting set out the approach as the city attempts to figure out why Surrey is facing a record number of homicides this year.

There have been 23 murders this year, compared to 21 in 2005, which was the previous record.

By comparison, Vancouver has recorded five murders so far in 2013.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” Watts told The Leader Wednesday.

Cracking down on drug houses may not have an immediate effect on the homicide rate, Watts said, but something has to be done to interrupt the high-risk activities that can lead to murder.

“The bottom line is we need to interrupt the activities of people that are involved in criminal activity,” Watts said.

As to whether the new focused enforcement will require a new team on the RCMP, Watts couldn’t say for sure.

“That may be a result in that,” Watts said. “We are putting together the strategy and we will be implementing it immediately, within the next week or so,” she said.

For the people who frequent drug houses and who want help with their addictions, Watts said are resources in Surrey that can offer assistance.

“I would suggest the ones selling the drugs are not the ones that want the help,” Watts said, adding a loud and clear message will be sent to people involved in crime.

“I do not want for one moment for any of these people involved in criminal activity to think that we are complacent and that it’s okay to do business in this city,” Watts said. “Because frankly, it’s not.

The task force meets again next week.

@diakiw

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey Community Leader award winners revealed

Ten outstanding representatives of Surrey’s vibrant community took home trophies Tuesday night

Surrey football teams in Subway Bowl playoff hunt this week

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers play at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16

MINTY: No magic wand in ’70s-themed ‘Cinderella’ panto in Surrey

Cast, crew and directors work hard to bring musical show to arts centre stage, starting Nov. 27

White Rock to ‘embark on a new direction’ for city’s management

Dan Bottrill has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2012

Five free Christmas movies in Surrey on Cineplex ‘Community Day’ for charity

Donations encouraged on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Bargaining to resume in Metro Vancouver transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Most Read