Surrey – Tackling gang violence in Surrey was the priority at Tuesday’s release of the report on the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention. Over 100 partners and guests gathered to hear about the action steps the City of Surrey is taking to prevent gang violence.
In addition to recommending enhanced police enforcement, an expanded gang exiting program and the launch of an Inadmissible Patrons Program, the Task Force is responding to the identified need for enhanced early interventions and stronger neighbourhood-based, culturally appropriate prevention programs. The Mayor highlighted that while the City will continue to show leadership on these issues, coordinated action and funding from the federal and provincial governments is essential.
“Partnerships are key when addressing complex public safety issues and I commend the City for drawing people together,” said Gordie Hogg, Member of Parliament for South Surrey–White Rock. “The Federal Government is committed to supporting Surrey in their efforts to help stop the gang violence that is occurring in B.C. communities.”
“I’d like to thank the City of Surrey and the Mayors Task Force for their important work toward preventing gun and gang violence and improving the quality of life for citizens in British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We’re proud to support their work and we’re committed to ensuring we provide the resources necessary to enable early interventions for our youth and support for those who seek to exit the gang lifestyle. Our government will continue to target gun and gang violence head-on and work with police agencies, anti-gang units and our federal partners to make sure our youth are knowledgeable and resilient, and that police have the tools and structure they need to prevent crime and disrupt organized crime groups.”
“I’m extremely proud of how the Task Force members came together from across our community to systematically address this important issue and that our Federal and Provincial partners also see the value in this work,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “What really surprised me as we conducted this review is how young children are when they begin to get involved in gangs. It is critical that we support our young people early to reduce the chances of them getting involved in the gang lifestyle.”
In October 2017, Mayor Linda Hepner launched the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention. The Task Force brought together 23 community partners with representatives from the provincial government, law enforcement, business community, school district, social service agencies, citizens and local media.