Independent candidate for mayor, Ross Buchanan, says enough is enough when it comes to the glossy media portrayal from Dianne Watts that everything is fine in Surrey, when crime is still a major issue for small businesses and residents in many neighbourhoods.
“Clearly, something isn’t working here. I am talking to people in Newton and Whalley, people who own businesses who can’t keep up with all the problems around them. Good people who aren’t asking for help anymore because they city hall doesn’t seem to care. Yes, there are some really wonderful areas of Surrey, but there are also neighbourhoods crying out for help that have been virtually ignored by city hall for years. That has to stop.”
Buchanan states that the one thing he knows well, is that you cannot fix what you do not acknowledge, and the residents of Surrey deserve to know the truth when it comes to the prevalence of crime in the city.
“We have heard time and time again from Dianne Watts, that she believes the residents of Surrey are responding to the old perceptions of Surrey, rather than actual statistics. Well, the statistics show that in many cases- such as thefts from vehicles, theft under $5000, and robberies – the amount of crime has actually increased in the city from 2009 -2010” ( the last statistics released by the RCMP)
Buchanan understands the need to promote the city to businesses and new residents, but at the same time is hearing a worrying tone of apathy among current residents and business owners who are no longer reporting crimes like thefts because too many claims result in skyrocketing insurance rates – for those who have insurance.
“Many of these businesses and residents have made Surrey their home for generations. While the city has been concentrating on developing and promoting areas like Morgan Crossing, and City Centre, they have all but ignored what is going on in Newton and other areas like Whalley beyond the City Centre development. “
“I’m not seeing huge strides made in the city considering what the city has been investing in the Crime Reduction Strategy. In fact, from 2009 to 2010, violent crimes alone were actually up 1%, and that worries people, it worries me. It’s time to deal with reality, engage with people at the most basic level, and listen to them. Listen to their experiences, listen to what they see as failures and take back our streets. A safe community is a livable community, and it’s time someone stood up for the small businesses and neighbourhoods that are struggling with the impact of crime.”
Buchanan is so concerned about what he sees as a costly experiment in crime reduction, he organized and is hosting, a free forum on The Truth About Crime in Surrey, which is open to all residents and businesses in Surrey. It will be held at the Compass Point Inn at 9850 King George Boulevard, Thursday November 10th from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm.