Shootings Galore In Surrey As Police, Mayor And New Law And Order Minister Talk Tough Action Against Gang Violence

SURREY – There were shootings galore in Surrey this week, a record 4 shootings over a 24 hour period, which had Surrey mayor Linda Hepner talking tough, saying police need to put the heat on gangsters in the city who are causing havoc.

Surrey RCMP was busy attending numerous reports of shots being fired in the city.

At approximately 10:30 pm on August 8th, Surrey RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the 15900 block of 89A Ave., Surrey, B.C.  A male suffering from non-life threatening injuries was transported to hospital.

The initial investigation has revealed that one vehicle was shot at.

Officers are conducting neighbourhood canvassing and speaking with witnesses to obtain further information. The investigation is still in its early stages.  Initial indications are that this is a targeted incident.

On August 5th, Surrey RCMP received a report of damage to a home in the 6800 block of 196th Street that had occurred the previous day and was consistent with gun shots.  At scene, police observed three residences had been struck by bullets.  Thankfully no one was injured in the incident.

While analyzing the scene police located weapons, explosives, and precursors to drug production.  GIU is working in partnership with the Surrey RCMP Drug Unit and the BC RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU). Preliminary examination by investigators has determined the scene is not a risk to the public and police will be taking every precaution to ensure public safety.

“Investigators will remain on scene until the area is made safe,” says Corporal Scotty Schumann. “A careful and methodical examination of the buildings is required.  Officers will be canvassing the neighbourhood in the hopes of locating potential witnesses. At this time no suspects have been identified.”

Surrey mayor Hepner and B.C.’s new Solicitor General Mike Farnworth met on Thursday to come up with a plan in response to the escalating violence in the city.

The meeting itself was held behind closed doors, but Hepner and Farnworth, who is also the province’s public safety minister, addressed media afterwards and answered questions about their plan.

“We are coming after you. We are not going to stop. You’re going to be convicted and you’re going to jail,” Farnworth said.

The escalation of violence has many people scared of leaving their homes, which Hepner says is unacceptable for her city.

“It’s maddening to me that anyone in a community would feel unsafe,” she said.

The number of shootings has left questions about where the perpetrators got their weapons.

Officials are also appealing to families whose children are involved in the violence.

“If you know these young men… if you have information, we need that information. It’s your civic responsibility,” Hepner said.

Earlier this month, Surrey RCMP released names and photos of five victims of targeted shootings, all Indo-Canadians, warning the public to stay away from them. Hepner added lack of co-operation from victims is another hurdle police are facing that makes investigations more difficult.

“We’re dealing with so-called victims. But when you’re a victim, you generally come and say, ‘This is what happened to me.’ What we’re faced with is no information,” she said.

Over the past few years, Surrey has received more than 100 new police officers and more funding for gang prevention. But Hepner says the problem is no longer a lack of resources, but a lack of strategy.

“The Surrey Board of Trade knows that the RCMP is working on specific strategies to counter those that are engaged in these shootings. To a business organization that is proud of Surrey and its many achievements in economic and social development, and where the Surrey Board of Trade is supporting and attracting business to Surrey, the recent shootings pose a significant challenge to the reputation and progress of our city,” said Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade.

In 2014 the Surrey Board of Trade specifically asked the provincial government for the following:

To work in coordination with the Federal Government to provide adequate budgetary support for offenders to receive treatment while incarcerated and for post-release housing and programming of prolific offenders to ensure successful societal reintegration and safer communities.

To combine resources with the Federal Government to ensure the efficacy of programs such as the Integrated Court Services Plan and the successful implementation of best practice measures.

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