In response to a record year of murders in Surrey their dedicated task force released a list of recommendations today that will help to reduce crime in the city. Among other things the list included more police officers, foot patrols, a bike squad and increased surveillance cameras.
“I want to ensure the people of Surrey that we will continue to confront and disrupt criminal behaviour in our city,” Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts told reporters. “… and we will be sending the message, as we always have, that criminals are not welcome here.”
Watts says the actions are working. The task force’s action plan includes techology involving: a shared database between police, fire and bylaws to identify and respond to high-risk and problematic properties; CCTV expansion program in three areas along with extending the capabilities to intersections entering and exiting the city and automated license plate readers.
Police personnel will also be increased. Over the next two years, the city has budgeted for 24 police officers, 20 foot patrol officers and a permanent six-member bike squad team.
According to Watts, the city plans on continuing to partner with the community and service providers to make sure there is proper support from the province and federal government to deal with mental health and addiction issues.
The team examined police resources and problem areas in the city, after a disturbing spike in homicides, which included the shocking death of Julie Paskall. In December 2013, Paskall was attacked outside a hockey arena while waiting to pick up her son. She later died of her injuries.
Surrey recorded 25 homicide cases in 2013, which was the highest number ever.
“We are committed to the endeavor and we will not stop until the job is done,” Watts said.