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Are Surrey's crime problems those of a city growing too fast?

(NEWS 1130 File Photo)

A community group feels City Hall needs to do something to play catch up with the growing population

There have been more than 30 shootings in Surrey so far this year

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Are Surrey’s problems with crime and gun violence simply a symptom of the city’s rapid growth? One community group thinks so and its members say City Hall has to play catch up.

“When you are allowing so many people to come into the community each month, you need to have your social, economic and other systems keep up with that growth,” says Darlene Bowyer, the coordinator of the Surrey Association of Sustainable Communities.

“That includes the police department. What other detachment in Canada had to order 100 new officers last year? And still that is not enough.”

Bowyer also believes Surrey’s school system is failing to educate enough young people about the risks of a criminal lifestyle.

She’d like to see a crackdown on illegal suites as well. “The dial-a-dopers are working here because the customers are here. The customers are here because we don’t implement our bylaws with regards to flop houses where they are renting a room out for $200 a month,” Bowyer tells NEWS 1130.

The Surrey Association of Sustainable Communities has been asking for a meeting between all levels of government to discuss better solutions to the city’s problems with crime.

Former criminal provides insight

There’s been a ton of talk about ways to put a stop to the gun violence that has plagued Surrey over the last little while, but are gangsters even paying attention to the warnings and plans from police and politicians?

About a week ago, Surrey’s mayor and RCMP released details of ways to try and control on the surge in shootings this year.

Ex-gangster Jordan Buna    says the warning of crackdowns may deter some, but not everyone. “It’s definitely going to make them nervous. I wouldn’t venture to go so far to say that it’s going to result in a prolific change in behaviour.”

He adds that’s particularly true for those who are more entrenched in gang life.

Meantime, Surrey’s top cop will address crime this afternoon at a luncheon at the Surrey Board of Trade.