“Brightening deadly road wasted effort” ~ Michael Booth, Surrey Now.

While two weeks of spring break is taking my attention elsewhere, I’ll be spending less time blogging, and concentrating more on a number of stories needing investigation. The BC Liberals seem to be up to more than a few of their old tricks with the Massey Tunnel replacement issue- I’m working on this story currently –  and of course, SNC Lavalin is again in the news – this story will be coming shortly.

Of course,I can usually be found checking in on twitter or facebook,and still check my emails frequently.

However, a column sent to me this morning was so well done, I really wanted to share it, particularly with my Surrey readers who have asked me for help in getting something done about the ‘temporary’ slot machines that now may become permanent with the death of the South Surrey Casino.

While this column doesn’t get into this issue at all, it reminded me of the issues of  ongoing break-ins and thefts that continually plague the Newton area in ‘hot spots’ reported weekly to block watches and concerned citizens … which bring us back to policing in the city and the recent move by Surrey mayor Dianne Watts to install CCTV along Colebrook road.

Since January 1st, there have been 11 murders in 11 weeks in Surrey.

Looking back at yearly totals available on the Surrey RCMP website, which now only list 2011 and 2012 crime stats to the public, this is usually the cities average for an entire year.

Sometimes more, sometimes less, but in a city this size,even with as many gangs as we have operating here, 11 murders in 11 weeks does not bode well for 2013. Homicide investigations take time,divert officers and investigators from other priorities,it is a fact. There are only so many officers to go around on a shift.

Multiple homicides also play havoc on the cities policing budget for the year, which makes it all the more ridiculous that $80,000 is being spent on CCTV and motion sensor lights that will more than likely be vandalized by people in masks who can’t be identified whether or not a light goes off or not.

I know this particular area well, since it very close to a popular recreational area known as Mud Bay, where people of all ages go to ride bikes, walk etc.  And I was not at all alone in calling this a reactive move when it first hit the press, stating clearly in various social media forums that the money was better off spent on policing, since we don’t have nearly enough officers in a city that is experiencing non-stop population growth. Many agreed wholeheartedly.

Michael Booth of the Surrey Now, nails it in an excellent column and gets right to the heart of the issue. ( Colebrook road runs right below Panorama Ridge, a coveted upper middle to high income earning neighbourhood that has flexed its muscle power with the city once already when it came to mega homes.)

Here is an excerpt from his column:

What the cameras and sensors are almost guaranteed not to catch are criminals dumping bodies on the roadside. All of the attention the area has received of late, coupled with publicity about Surrey’s jacked up infrastructure in response to the bodies, means only the dimmest of thugs will be making late-night drives along Colebrook Road in the foreseeable future.

Such altered behaviour patterns means the city’s $80,000 is essentially wasted.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and city staff are in a tough spot on this one. The rising body count certainly is a blow to all of the positive work done by Watts and Surrey council to clean up the city’s image.

Residents who live in the area certainly don’t want corpses scattered nearby and given the socioeconomic demographic of the neighbourhood, their complaints are more likely to be heard by city officials than if bodies started turning up in, oh, let’s say, vacant lots in Whalley.

What’s that you say? Bodies of crime victims and drug users do turn up regularly in North Surrey without extra city dollars being spent on extra lighting and cameras?

Well, good news! Once the new City Hall opens in Whalley, the city’s priority list should change dramatically.


Now read the rest of this courageous column over at The Now: http://www.thenownewspaper.com/news/Brightening+deadly+road+wasted+effort/8130759/story.html

The issue of crime in Surrey- ( which,incidentally, has increased for a number of crimes most apt to impact residents here like residential break ins, thefts from autos and auto thefts -see link above to RCMP stats, read 4th quarter summaries, year to date from current year to last)- is an issue not just for municipal politicians,but provincial ones as well.

Current NDP and Liberal MLA’s in the city would do well to look at what they have done, or can do, to assist in restoring cuts to justice system elements that are have resulted in court backlogs and increasing wait times for trials.

15 thoughts on ““Brightening deadly road wasted effort” ~ Michael Booth, Surrey Now.

  1. these bodies are (were) real people who had families, friends etc. the priority should be with finding and punishing the killers and preventing further crimes and not sensationalizing where the bodies were found.


      1. You are both right,I think.Look at the number of reports of stabbings in the city since January.There are what seems to me, to be a remarkable amount of stabbings here as well- there were so many in a relatively short period a few weeks ago that in the comments section under one of the news reports on it someone left a comment that said Surrey is know as the city of festivals, but they dont advertise the stabbing festival.

        The RCMP statistics do not lie. While the crime has been decreasing nationally as a trend,in Surrey, since 2010,some crimes have been increasing.

        Property crimes 2010 -2011 = up 2%
        2011 -2012 = up 3%

        Residential B&E 2010 -2011 = up 16%
        2011 -2012 = up 12%

        Theft of vehicle 2011- 2012= up 13%

        Theft from vehicle 2010-2011 = 0% change
        2011 – 2012 = up 5% – note, this is huge issue in many neighbourhoods and many go unreported. Huge issue is my neighbourhood, everyone I know has had their vehicle broken into multiple times if parked overnight on the street and most dont report anymore because they fix it themselve to avoid having insurance rates go up.

        sexual assault 2010 – 2011 = down 1% but then,
        2011 -2012 = up 24%
        Violent robberies – 2010-2011 = up 2%
        2011 -2012 = up 3%

        While the overall picture may appear to be glossy and yes,a lot of work has been done in Surrey, there is clearly still a very long way to go yet with crime and combatting crime effectively should be a number 1 priority. To do that we need more officers on the street, plain and simple, and we need a court system that works. Adding 10 new officers a year over three years is not going to cut it when the population is increasing a rate far greater than that.


        1. I wanted to share this a well.. there is an excellent program in Surrey that in my opinion, needs expansion to every high school and also needs to be expanded to provide support to young men following graduation from highschool. This is a good read on something that steers youth away from engagement with crime and gangs,provides support to them,and saves society & the system a ton of money down the road. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:UQwNzujeJawJ:www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/cp/res/_fl/2012-es-29-eng.pdf+number+of+officers+to+increase+in+Surrey&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESis5BQzgFbHO6gFiYALUddXzPtdhtHVQhuvad0x50eItdhsPK9XtGeLgCvfyTnQUtGP7yczr12fwDV4EhfenQZ61qqO4uLTfIpcnt8PyXfl9mQBPpf4_cb7UC0SsolheEfotPus&sig=AHIEtbTs3O5i3xkw-WXQ64B4G2bfURmrkg


  2. We’ve lived in Sullivan area for 15 years and have seen changes that are not good.Our minivan has been broken into 7 times in one year,and we claimed two.When we called rcmp,it was like,oh yeah here is your file number click.We only have a small garage and have to park on the street,but we can’t keep paying for new windows or higher ICBC rates if we use our deductible too many times.We are thinking of moving now to Coquitlam because we have had enough.We can’t afford paying all the time and we don’t even leave anything in the van anymore.I cant even read the news how great Surrey is,and that its affordable for families.We cant afford so many new windows on our van even with cheaper mortgage.


  3. Michael Booth is very good.We need more cops right now.I am sick of the break-ins here.Why does mayor say crime is down when cop stats show not true?Can you ask her this please for me?


  4. Laila that program you referenced does not seem to give the sort of statistics that would inspire me with confidence, such as out of 132 youth referred / involved, so many are now positively and actively engaged in society either in post-secondary education or working productively or did I just miss those figures.
    Still I agree money is better spent on programs for youth and whether it can be evaluated or not I do believe it saves us court and jail costs down the road.


  5. Hmm, isnt that in there? I have to re-read, I thought it was. The anecdotal evidence suggests that these young men came back after graduation so clearly the support is needed and steer them out of the attractions of gangs.

    Sad news in Newton,again very indicative of the neighbourhood. This rec centre is right beside the Newton bus loop. http://www.surreyleader.com/news/199612071.html


  6. Yes indeed. Newton Rec Centre is really at the epicentre there,being right beside the bus loop.
    Of course there was another shooting this weekend, in broad daylight this time.. .in Whalley. Luckily he was only shoot in both his legs so he didnt die, but again… Time to focus on the bigger picture. Weapons are a plague in this city. http://bc.ctvnews.ca/surrey-mounties-investigate-after-man-shot-in-legs-1.1209688#ixzz2OWIKiDXd
    Surrey RCMP are investigating after a man was shot in both of his legs Sunday night, they said.

    Responding to a call they received at around 6:40 p.m., Mounties said they found a man at the corner of King George Boulevard and University Drive suffering gunshot wounds to both of his legs.

    The victim was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, they said.
    While early reports indicated three men were arrested at a nearby apartment complex following the incident, RCMP only confirmed that two persons of interest were taken into custody.

    Mounties said it was too early to tell if the alleged shooting was gang-related.

    No charges have been laid and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.


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