Is Surrey a safe place to live? It depends on who you ask. What I can tell you the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention is one of the most comprehenssive packages I have seen to date.

Give Mayor Linda Hepner full props for bringing together some of the brightest minds on the topic from the provincial government, business community, school district, social services agencies, former gang members, citizens and local media. This alone would be no easy task, but the Mayor’s resolve was too powerful for may to ignore.

Read the Report:

The Action Steps highlighted by the Task Force include:

  1. Implement a Middle Years Table to refer at-risk children and families for appropriate inter- agency interventions and services.
  2. Strengthen prevention program coordination, access and evaluation.
  3. Partner with the Federal and Provincial Governments to develop a comprehensiveneighbourhood specific prevention program.
  4. Support CFSEU-BC and the Surrey RCMP in informing citizens of the risks related to ganglife.
  5. Expand and integrate the CFSEU-BC Gang Intervention, Exiting and Outreach services andwiden the target population to support youth and adults to exit the gang lifestyle.
  6. Support the Surrey RCMP in developing and implementing an Inadmissible Patron Program.

Gang violence is nothing new in our communities, but I believe this Mayor’s Task Force has a solid plan moving forward to catching would be gang bangers before they even get that stage. There are no easy fixes, but this plan provides real and genuine strategies for dealing with this daily scurge and well into the future.

The trouble runs deep, but there is still time to save a life, or many lives! After all, I think we can all agree that we want to be surrounded by productive, law abiding citizens for today and well into the future. Today we are one step closer where our focus is not on crime, rather on safe and trusted neighbourhoods.

Is Surrey a safe place to live? Be part of the answer.

Ian Power