Two shootings, one of them fatal, in Newton over the weekend has veteran MLA Harry Bains saying government has to provide the court system with more resources to deal with the scourges of drug trafficking and gang violence.
“We need to give resources to the courts and prosecution branch,” said Bains, labour minister in the provincial NDP government. “We need to increase our resources to the prosecution side as well.”
Pardip Brar, 23, of Delta was shot dead at about 7 p.m. Friday, in the 6700-block of 137A Street. His is the second shooting death in Surrey this year.
A man, who police have not identified, was killed in the 17800-block of 64th Avenue on Jan. 7. Three days before that, another man was injured in a shooting four blocks away, in the 17400-block of 64th Avenue.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believes Brar’s murder was “targeted” and linked to other gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
Investigators want to speak with anyone who has information about a white sport utility vehicle and a black sedan that were seen leaving the area after the shooting.
“I urge those with information about Mr. Brar’s murder to come forward and speak with IHIT,” Corporal Frank Jang said.
The IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
There was a shooting in the same area in mid-February.
Brar’s was the eighth shooting in Surrey this year. There were 59 shootings in Surrey during 2017, in 2016 there were 61 and in 2015 there were 88.
According to court documents, Pardip Singh Brar was charged with 12 counts of trafficking in a controlled substance in connection with alleged offences between March 31, 2015 and April 28, 2015. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts and was sentenced to 15 months and 10 days in jail after receiving 18 months credit for time served, according to the Surrey provincial court registry.
The second shooting in Newton this past weekend happened about about 11 a.m. Sunday, in the 6800 block of 121 Street, at a dead-end with townhomes on both sides of the street.
A witness at the scene said no victims were found at the scene but police did find a pile of bullet casings and cordoned off the area.
This was Surrey’s ninth shooting in 2018.
Meantime, Bains has personally suffered as a result of Surrey’s gun violence. On April 19, 2015 his nephew Arun Bains, 22, was killed in a drive-by shooting on 126th Street near 88A Avenue, in Newton. Police have “not yet” made an arrest in that crime, the MLA said.
“Look at how we got here. It is unfortunate that this problem has been allowed to grow,” he said. “We need to do more.”
Surrey Newton MLA Harry Bains. (Photo: Now-Leader).
He charged the past provincial Liberal government with not doing enough to tackle street violence. “Occasional piecemeal announcements and failing to take real action,” he said.
“It’s a fundamental right for all British Columbians, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, to feel safe in their homes, that they’re safe in their school and when the kids are out there using public facilities, and that the families are safe walking in their neighbourhood and their neighbourhood parks.”
“There are some concrete steps being taken by this government, first of all, on the prevention side.”
Bains noted that last September the NDP government announced that more than $30 million will be spent over three years on public safety initiatives in this province.
“It took a long time for local authorities and provincial authorities to recognize there was a serious crime issue,” Bains said. “It is frustrating. Every time a young man or woman, mostly men, are being shot you see the parents behind there, and the other loved ones, who have to bear the pain of losing a loved one.
“It is frustrating that we haven’t been able to address this issue so far. I think I’m going to continue to push, and I know my colleagues in Surrey are continuing to push, and our solicitor general is really serious about dealing with this issue and I, we’re going to continue to work on it,” he vowed.
“It’s not an easy, there’s no magic wand as you suggested. Number one is recognition of how serious this problem is, number two that we put resources where needed and give them tools that they need so that our law enforcement can take this issue head-on and send a clear message to the gangsters and drug traffickers that hey, we’re watching and we’ll come after you.”
— with files by Beau Simpson