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‘It’s important they see us’: Surrey RCMP hold safety fair amid rising crime

Surrey RCMP were in Clayton Heights Saturday for a Public Safety Fair.
Surrey RCMP were in Clayton Heights Saturday for a Public Safety Fair. Robyn Crawford/ Global News

After a recent spike in crime in the area, Surrey RCMP were in Clayton Heights for a public safety fair Saturday.

The detachment launched National Crime Prevention Week at Ecole Salish Secondary school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fair had victim services information, community outreach program brochures, and information on how to combat auto-crime.

Surrey RCMP’s officer-in-charge, Assistant Comm. Dwayne McDonald, says it comes after two violent crimes in Clayton Heights over the past two months.

READ MORE: IHIT deployed to fatal targeted shooting in Surrey’s Clayton Heights neighbourhood

“Any time a neighborhood in the city sees a spike I think it’s important they see us and engage with us,” he said at the event.

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The family-oriented area saw a shooting at a Mobil gas station along Fraser Highway in September. A week later, there was a stabbing outside another gas station a block away.

“I think Clayton represents one of the quickest growing areas in the city, a lot of young families here,” said McDonald.

“A lot of people are interested in community engagement, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to reach people who may have questions about public safety.”

New Surrey crime statistics adding fuel to the debate over policing in the city
New Surrey crime statistics adding fuel to the debate over policing in the city

It’s not just Clayton seeing a rise in crime. According to the latest Surrey RCMP crime statistics released this week, criminal offences increased by six per cent in the third quarter of 2019. As for property crimes, they rose by 10 per cent.

The third quarter also saw five homicides, compared to three in the previous quarter.

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READ MORE: Latest Surrey crime stats spark war of words over policing

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said Thursday he’s disheartened by the recent spike in crime, but not surprised.

“Our RCMP members are doing the best job they can, but it is clear from what I have heard from our citizens that Surrey would benefit from having its own police department,” the mayor said then.

“I continue to urge the Solicitor General to make this a top priority and that we work as quickly as possible to establish the Surrey Police Department.”

READ MORE: Surrey mayor announces members of new police transition advisory committee

McCallum has continued to say he’s expecting the city’s police force to launch in the spring of 2021.

Meanwhile, McDonald says the fair had nothing to do with a looming civic police force.

“If we do our jobs to the best of our abilities and provide the most efficient, protective, and effective police force we can, that speaks for itself,” he said.

He says RCMP officers will be giving presentations in schools and at community events throughout the following week.

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