A tale of two cities.. or.. ‘Perspective is everything’
The city of Surrey’s version: https://www.surrey.ca/community/6803.aspx
Today, Whalley, also known as North Surrey, is a thriving urban centre, home to SFU Surrey, major shopping and recreational facilities, Surrey Memorial Hospital and destination parks including Green Timbers Urban Forest, Bear Creek Park and Holland Park.
North Surrey is a culturally vibrant community, playing host to the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival, Surrey’s annual celebration of winter, and Fusion Festival, a 2-day multicultural event featuring music, food and culture. It is also home to the Surrey Arts Centre, a hub of local arts and cultural activity.
Located in the heart of North Surrey, Surrey City Centre has been identified as the region’s second downtown. It is currently seeing the development of a burgeoning civic precinct, home to a new flagship library, city hall and performing arts centre. In recent years, Surrey City Centre has also been the focus of significant residential and commercial development. SkyTrain provides convenient access to downtown Vancouver and the rest of the region.
The analysis found that three postal code areas in North Surrey — V3R, V3T and V3V — have among the worst stolen auto rates in the province.
The worst of the three, V3T — an area that includes three SkyTrain stations and Central City Shopping Centre — had an average annual stolen auto rate of 653 per 100,000 residents, more than four times the provincial average of 143.
RCMP Sgt. Gary Rodricks, head of Surrey’s Auto Crime Target Team, said North Surrey’s high rate of auto crime is likely due to a combination of poor neighbourhoods and large parking lots. While Surrey has been trying hard to revitalize North Surrey, Rodricks said, the area remains one of the poorest parts of the city and a popular place for criminals to congregate.
“Some of the renters are good, some of the renters are not so good,” Rodricks said. “I joined the RCMP in 1993 and some of the problem apartment buildings then are the same problem apartment buildings we have now.”
Combine that with huge surface parking lots — at the Scott Road and King George park and rides and several local malls — and you’ve got a recipe for high auto crime, he said.
The last thing a car thief wants is to be surprised by a vehicle’s owner coming back to their car. That makes many of the cars parked in North Surrey particularly attractive, said Rodricks: People commuting to work on SkyTrain are away from their cars all day.