To the citizens of Surrey,
As the year draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your continued trust and support. I would also like to share some of the work the Surrey RCMP has done to improve public safety in your neighbourhoods this year.
Our priorities of public safety, community engagement and mobilization, and organizational development have driven our work throughout the year, resulting in a number of successes and new initiatives.
With respect to public safety, our homicide rate has decreased by 47 per cent, our fatal collisions are down 23 per cent, and our property crime rate has decreased by 10 per cent.
Unfortunately, the city was plagued with a number of shootings related to the drug trade this year, driving our violent crime rate. Our investigative teams, supported by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC), have made significant headway in disrupting this drug activity and the related violence by making almost 800 arrests and detentions, resulting in 290 charges. I can assure you that this continues to be our detachment’s top priority.
Some of our initiatives to pro-actively improve public safety have included a successful joint operation with Metro Vancouver Transit Police to improve safety in the Surrey Central transit corridor, and the support of more participants in the Wrap program, a partnership with the Surrey School District which helps to keep at-risk youth out of the gang and criminal lifestyle.
We have also made efforts to reach out to our diverse community in Surrey through our participation in cultural events such as the Pulling Together Canoe Journey and Vaisakhi, and meetings with various community groups. To assist those who are new to Canada and Surrey, we created a “Newcomer’s Guide to Policing” that is now available in print and on our website (http://surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca).
A significant accomplishment for us this year was the launch of the Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table, or “SMART.” With the help of our 10 partners, SMART is intended to address social issues before they become police problems. This model, often called a “Hub,” has been established in other parts of Canada, but SMART is the first of its kind in B.C. I am very proud that Surrey detachment has played a key role in bringing this type of risk-driven intervention model to Surrey.
This year, we have continued to increase our efforts in community engagement and mobilization and you have responded. More than 100 new Block Watches were created, 900 residents attended our 15 Neighbourhood Safety presentations, and 52 youth and adults participated in our Citizen and Youth Police Academies.
As our city continues to grow, a significant focus for us this year has been on increasing our establishment of police officers. Since the official approval of 100 new police officers in May, 75 of those positions have been filled. In addition, 31 municipal employees were added to support our operation. The growth of our detachment has allowed us to enhance our service delivery, particularly with respect to our uniformed first responders in general duty and youth policing.
While enforcement is a key part of policing, public safety does not improve simply by making arrests. I would like to thank every citizen and business owner in Surrey who has taken the time over the past year to call us to report a crime or suspicious event, talk to us in person, join a Block Watch group, or attend one of our crime prevention events.
The community plays an important role in all aspects of policing – from observing and reporting, to engaging with us, to protecting yourself, your home and your business.
Thank you for being involved and for caring about the safety and well-being of our police officers and this great city. I wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.
Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy
Officer in Charge, Surrey RCMP