BC Pumps $500,000 To Help Surrey’s Anti-Gang Programs

SURREY – As part of a strategy to address gang violence and make communities safer, BC government will invest $500,000 from civil forfeiture grants into anti-gang programming for youth in Surrey, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, announced this week in Surrey.

The funding will support the Surrey Wraparound (Wrap) program and eliminate the program’s current waitlist.

“As part of our commitment to tackle gangs and gun violence and create safer communities for people, we are delivering on our promise to increase support for Surrey Wrap by $500,000,” Farnworth said. “Wrap is a successful program that identifies at-risk youth to help keep them out of gangs in the first place. It should have stable and secure funding, not waitlists.”

Wrap is a collaborative partnership between the Surrey RCMP, the Surrey school district (SD 36) and the City of Surrey that connects youth who are at risk of joining gangs with outreach workers, teachers and police. Evaluation of the Wrap program has shown a significant decline (67%) in the negative police contacts of participants. There are currently 97 students in the program with 35 students on the waitlist. This funding will eliminate that waitlist.

“People want to feel safe where they live and know their child won’t be lost to the dead-end path of gang life,” Farnworth said. “It’s time to target gang violence in our neighbourhoods head-on. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”

The government is also taking immediate action on gun and gang violence by:

* working in partnership to implement the Surrey Accord;

* reviewing viable recommendations stemming from the Illegal Firearms Task Force;

* seeking to further support police efforts to disrupt the illegal drug supply chain, including pushing the federal government for increased penalties for drug dealers;

* calling on the federal government to increase B.C.’s federal RCMP complement to bolster enforcement efforts;

* pursuing B.C.’s share of the $100 million in funding the federal government announced as part of its platform for help with guns and gangs.



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