B.C. promises discussions to address recent Surrey gun violence

Neighbourhoods were hit with three shootings in 12 hours this week.

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.”

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.”

READ MORE: Resident feels like ‘hostage’ amid latest rash of shootings

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.

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

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