Talk, talk, talk – Newton needs action

Surrey – The Editor, Re: “From bad to worse in Newton,” the Now, Jan. 2. I am sickened by the tragic murder at our recreation centre. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terrible time.

People have been complaining about the escalating crime around Newton for years.

We’ve had community forums, meetings, consultations – we’ve been cajoled and promised but mostly we’ve been ignored. It’s been a civic election issue for more than 20 years. Every time there’s a stabbing or purse snatching in Newton, people are on high alert but nothing fundamental ever changes.

Newton’s real problems started in 1986 when the bus exchange went in. Frankly, it’s been downhill ever since. In 2008, we were told that as part of the city’s crime fighting strategy for Newton that the bus exchange would be moved. It’s still there.

How could we not see this coming? Thirty years ago in Surrey, we marched down the middle of King George Highway, stopping traffic to “Take back the Night.”

But you know, you get tired of complaining, going to meetings, getting nowhere and you begin to accept that it’s just the way things are in Surrey.

Oh I know, they’re going to step up police patrols, get more lighting. I bet they hold a community meeting too, but will anything really change? We know that eyes on the street are what make us safe. Criminals don’t want to be seen.

Will more police officers be hired? Will there be a more visible on-the-ground police presence? Will we have CCTV cameras installed in high crime areas? What will be done to make sure we are safe?

Sheena Macintyre Wilkie