Surrey RCMP says three people have been deported amid investigations into at least two brawls captured on video in the Newton area.
Police said they’d been “actively engaged” in the issue, and were looking into 50 people involved in the large groups of youth, some of them allegedly international students, seen in the videos.
According to police, the first video involved a fight in the parking lot of a strip mall in Strawberry Hills in August. The second video showed an assault with a weapon and other mischief in a parking lot early in the morning hours of Nov. 11.
Mounties say their Community Response Unit has been working on public safety concerns involving youth congregating, drinking and fighting in the Strawberry Hills area since March.
Police say their Diversity and Indigenous Peoples Unit was also working with local international student associations to provide education and prevention information.
“While not all of these incidents involve international students, law enforcement officials want to remind individuals who are visiting Canada on a Visa that any engagement in criminal activity violates the condition of their Visa and they could be removed from Canada as a result,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko in a media release.
Ashiana Khań, a talk radio host with internet Indian radio station Media Waves Communication, is hosting a public forum on the violence in the neighbourhood Tuesday night.
She said she wants to see more action from police, and stricter vetting of international students coming to Canada.
“During the last few weeks there have been some videos which are going viral on social media, which is very concerning to see, and now our Canadian born kids are questioning it,” she said.
“We’re concerned about our citizens, we’re concerned about public safety.”
Khań said she was pleased to hear that police had made progress on the Strawberry Hills mall incident, but the more recent brawl was still a concern.
She said she hopes the public turns out Tuesday night to voice their concerns to police and government leaders, and to push for more enforcement.
The viral videos of the brawls caught the attention of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, who last week issued a statement calling them “repugnant” and a risk to the public.
McCallum said he wants to see the RCMP take “immediate and strong action to get a handle on this kind of mob violence that is occurring far too frequently in Surrey.”
In the wake of the brawl at the Strawberry Hills mall, Mounties said they stepped up patrols in the area, calling it a “hotspot” for violent behaviour.
On Tuesday, police said in addition to the three people who had been deported, police were reviewing the status of three others.
—With files from Sean Boynton