February 18, 2016 4:01 am
Updated: February 18, 2016 4:49 am

Public safety meeting held in Newton

WATCH: In the wake of a standoff that virtually shut down Newton, the community holds a public satety meeting. Global's Nadia Stewart was at that meeting and has the latest.

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Safety is top of mind for Newton residents, who got a the chance to share their concerns about crime in the area.

Surrey RCMP held their first of 10 community safety meetings on Wednesday night, with the goal of getting feedback from residents about problems they’re dealing with and finding out what needs to change.

Delta resident Nicole attended the meeting out of a concern crime is spilling into her neighbourhood, which is close to the Surrey/Delta border.

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“In my neigbourhood alone there’s been a least five houses broken into or shot at,” she said.

Police said they want to to get residents engaging with officers, but that they need more help from the community to weed out drug dealers and other criminals.

“Right now we believe we need community mobilization, we need the community to help us in the sense of joining block watches and assisting us and being those extra eyes and ears for the police,” said Surrey RCMP Insp. Ghalib Bhayani.

Bhayani said the block watch program is working and that they’re receiving more calls from more residents reporting incidents. According to the force, break-and-enters are down 16 per cent compared to last year, but incidents of attempted murder are up —  28 in 2015, compared to nine the year before.

Bhayani says the solution isn’t as simple as just hiring more officers.

“When we make a decision on what it is we need, it may not be more money, it may not be more police officers, it’s all data driven, it’s what the evidence is leading us to,” he said.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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