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.
4 thoughts on “Watts wrong with Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy?”
What Surrey, (and the rest of BC), needs is a localized police force implemented on the ‘Community Policing’ model that has been so successful elsewhere.
Personally, I agree and think we are not getting value for what we are spending. The number of officers working for the number of citizens is completely unbalanced, and should a serious incident occur taking all officers, heaven help anyone else needing RCMP assistance because they are all busy.
I still have very big issues with the current city manager, Murray DInwoodie, being in the position of lead negotiator for the municipalities in the ongoing RCMP contract talks. Considering that Surrey is currently building the new ‘E’ division here, there is a perception and real conflict with how the taxpayers of Surrey are being represented. Are we going to get the best value for our money with the RCMP, or are we simply ensuring the new E division that Mayor Watts has been very vocal about bringing so many jobs to Surrey, continues construction.
Personally, one would wonder why they would have even started building that, because beginning that project automatically took for granted the province will keep the RCMP, and in my opinion, places undue pressure on negotiations to end positively, not neccesarily in the best interests of all of BC. Surrey has an economic vested interest in the RCMP remaining the force of choice for most of BC. That doesnt bode well for the rest of the province.
‘E’ Division is predicated on having the contract. Were we to go to a BC Provincial force, in minutes there would be a potentially vacant building available for the BC force to take over. If the RCMP role is downgraded to federal crime and security, they would be more logically need space in the center of their area, right back on 33 Ave in Vancouver where they were when I joined up back in the dark ages.
I would agree that crime is a major issue, but I think he is bang on about the need, or lack of moving the city hall in recession times. It looks like she is empire building. Plus adding another tax on gas is just plain wrong.
I voted for him in the advanced poll at the city hall. You should, too.
I also see ads promoting this new hall in the local rags. Quite tasteless advertising during an election.
Comments are closed.