September 23, 2015 – Letter to Premier Clark on the crisis of public safety in Surrey

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New Democrat leader John Horgan and MLAs Harry Bains, Sue Hammell, Bruce Ralston and Mike Farnworth sent Premier Clark the following letter expressing their concerns about the crisis of public safety in Surrey.

Dear Premier Clark:

A crisis of public safety exists in Surrey. In 2015, Surrey citizens have experienced as many as 44 shooting incidents and three murders. Shootings have continued since the summer including one as recently as last week.

Just a few days ago, the Strawberry Hill Elementary School building was hit by bullets. Fortunately, children who could easily have been playing on the grounds were not there at that moment. The bullets pierced three walls in a neighboring home, and according to media reports, narrowly missed the occupants.

Residents of Surrey tell us that they are living in fear and feel abandoned by senior levels of government. It is the provincial government’s responsibility to take immediate steps to restore order and public safety. Despite the repeated promises of 100 additional RCMP officers, there are far fewer on the ground.

We request that you immediately ask the RCMP, as provided for in the 2012 RCMP Agreements, to redeploy resources from throughout the country to respond to the Surrey crisis. Families in Surrey cannot wait the months required to train new RCMP officers.

Secondly, we call for a dedicated internal RCMP task force to work full time on ending this epidemic of gun violence. It is astonishing that despite the ongoing shootings and the level of public alarm, effective action has not been taken to stop the violence.

These are actions that can and should be taken immediately. In addition we reiterate our call for a Surrey Accord to bring together all levels of government to develop comprehensive long-term solutions.

It is clear that past policing resources and current initiatives have failed to keep Surrey families safe. Urgent action is needed.

Residents of Surrey deserve nothing less.

Yours sincerely,

John Horgan, Leader
New Democrat Official Opposition

Harry Bains, MLA
Surrey-Newton

Sue Hammell, MLA
Surrey-Green Timbers

Bruce Ralston, MLA
Surrey-Whalley

Mike Farnworth, MLA
Opposition Spokesperson for Justice

Original letter to Premier Clark