South Asian Family Association holds youth forum on drugs and violence in Surrey

File / Global News

One group in Surrey is working to find answers to end gang violence in the city.

Andrew Bacchaus, a gang interventionist, said when he asked teenagers why they wound up involved in gang violence their answer was disheartening.

“We had nothing else to do.”

Bacchaus was speaking at the South Asian Family Association’s youth forum on drugs and violence on Thursday.

READ MORE: Surrey rally against gang violence draws over 1,000 people in wake of teens’ slayings

He says in order to make change, we need to listen to the teenagers on the front lines.

“Bring them on the table, engage them, involve them in the processes so they can be a part in developing something that can work for them,” he said.

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READ MORE: Surrey teens identified as victims of fatal shooting

Founding member of the Association, Suki Grewal says it’s about working together.

“Policing is not the answer, I think we as a community, the parents, the children, different levels of government all night to work collaboratively to get somewhere and save our future.”

READ MORE: ‘I can’t live without my baby’: mom grieves Surrey teen killed in targeted shooting

On Wednesday night, a rally was held by a different group aiming to pressure Surrey’s leaders to make the city safer.

Thousands of people were in attendance, as well as local politicians and family members of recently slayed teenagers Jason Jhutty and Jesse Bhangal.