Surrey business group ‘urgently calling’ for reform of sex offender laws

Click to play video: 'Dangerous sex offender residing in Surrey'
Dangerous sex offender residing in Surrey
A dangerous sex offender, who RCMP say poses a serious risk to vulnerable women and intimate partners -- is now living in Surrey – May 17, 2024

The Surrey Board of Trade says it is joining Mayor Brenda Locke in “urgently calling” for a comprehensive review of laws and protocols around high-risk sex offenders.

Board President Anita Huberman says in an open letter to B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General Niki Sharma that the board is concerned and frustrated about the recent release of a 29-year-old, who lives in Surrey and was convicted of sexually assaulting two women in 2017.

Click to play video: 'Police warning ‘dangerous’ sex offender living in Surrey, B.C.'
Police warning ‘dangerous’ sex offender living in Surrey, B.C.

The RCMP issued a public interest notice on Friday, saying Ezaz Razak “represents a serious and imminent risk to vulnerable women and intimate partners.”

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The letter says this is the third release into the community in about six weeks, and the current regulations around high-risk offenders has adverse effects on local businesses, including increasing security costs.

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Huberman says the board is calling for a re-evaluation of guidelines for dangerous sex offenders, more robust supervision including electronic monitoring, thorough risk assessments before release and clear and timely communication about such high-risk offenders.

Locke issued a similar news release Friday, saying Razak’s release is “unconscionable” and calling on governments to determine “more appropriate measures in order to protect all communities from harm.”

Click to play video: 'High-risk sex offender pleads guilty to charges'
High-risk sex offender pleads guilty to charges

Huberman says in Tuesday’s news release that “safety and well-being of our residents and businesses are paramount.”

“We cannot allow the current system to continue jeopardizing the security of our community. Immediate action is needed to protect all communities in British Columbia,” she says in the release.

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“The current situation is untenable. Immediate steps must be taken to restore public confidence and safeguard our neighbourhoods.”

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