Surrey neighbourhood facing spike in break-ins shows need for more police officers

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May 2, 2014

SURREY – New Democrat MLAs are calling for more police officers on the street as another Surrey neighbourhood struggles with a frightening crime problem.

Residents on one stretch of 93B Avenueare facing a serious problem with vandalism and break-ins. Fourteen out of 31 homes have been effected.

“People living in this neighbourhood have told us they are afraid to carry purses. They are afraid to leave their loved ones at home. No one should have to live like this. And no one should be forced from their neighbourhood because they are afraid,” said Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton.

Surrey has one of the highest crime rates in British Columbia, yet ranks 31st in the province for the number of police officers per capita.

“Surrey is this province’s fastest-growing city, and resources must keep up with this growth. Policing has not kept pace, and we need to catch up,” said Bruce Ralston, MLA for Surrey-Whalley.

The MLAs have called on 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 and community courts, regulating recovery homes, committing to a mental health strategy, and creating more accessible social housing.

“The RCMP does an excellent job in our community. But clearly their resources are stretched thin. As a result, neighbourhoods that are coping with a serious crime problem sometimes feel they have to do so alone,” said Sue Hammell, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers.

“We need to do better – for the residents struggling today, and for the future of Surrey.”