Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner returned from a summer break to join new Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in addressing the public on the city’s recent spate of shootings.
“We are doing everything we can” to crack down on criminals, Hepner told reporters Thursday (Aug. 10). “I don’t care if they are jaywalking, it doesn’t matter if they are loitering, if there’s any way we can get them off the streets.”
Hepner says fighting Surrey shootings not a resource problem but rather "deafening silence" from people with info #surreybc— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) August 10, 2017
The Fleetwood and Clayton Heights neighbourhoods saw three shootings in under 12 hours. The first was called in last Tuesday (Aug. 8) around noon near the 7000-block of 180th Street. No one was hurt, but bullet holes were found in a vehicle and a garage door. Barely seven hours later, officers were deployed to 192nd Street and 72nd Avenue for another shooting. No one was hurt there either. And not long after that, around 10:30 p.m., more gunfire was reported in the 15900-block of 89A Avenue. One man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I don’t think anybody should be afraid to go outside their homes,” Hepner said. “It’s maddening to be in a community that anyone would feel unsafe.”
Farnworth said this requires a “concerted plan,” and that his cabinet will discuss initiatives, but he would not go into specifics because he did not want to “tip off” the criminals.
"I'm not going to get into specifics today," Farnworth says on plans to deal with Surrey shootings #surreybc— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) August 10, 2017
Premier John Horgan had campaigned in Surrey before the May election, promising $500,000 a year for an anti-gang youth program called Wraparound.
Farnworth said Thursday his government will follow through on that, but added nothing else.
– with a file from Tom Zytaruk