Liberals must end neglect of crime in Surrey

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May 8, 2014

SURREY – New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberal government to make a commitment to Surrey’s future after statistics show crime in the Newton area is up 36 per cent over the same time last year.

“The RCMP’s first quarter report shows total property crime in Newton is up 51 per cent, with break-and-enters up 40 per cent. These are shocking statistics, but they won’t come as a surprise to the people who live in Newton,” said Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains.

The report found crime in Newton was up in most categories. Sexual assaults in the area are up 56 per cent, break-ins to businesses are up 68 per cent, and theft from vehicles is up 79 per cent.

“It’s not just property crime that’s spiking in Newton – violent crime is up 10 per cent, too. This community suffered a terrible loss when Julie Paskall was murdered while picking up her son from Newton Arena late last year. It’s particularly troubling to see this spike in violent crime, because everything possible should be done to make sure this tragedy never happens again. Clearly, we need to do more,” said Bains.

In light of the RCMP’s report, Bains and fellow Surrey New Democrat MLAs Bruce Ralston and Sue Hammell are renewing their call for all three levels of government to sign on to a Surrey Accord, which would address community safety problems with five key pillars: investing in policing, creating a community court, regulating recovery homes, committing to a mental health strategy, and building more social housing.

“My colleagues and I have raised this issue in the legislature, and today we wrote to Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy of the Surrey RCMP to express the concerns we are hearing. In both cases, we have pressed for immediate, coordinated action,” said Bains.