Violence In Surrey Continues Unabated As Police Force And City Unable To Provide The Anti-Dose

Surrey Needs It's Own Independent City Police Force And Should Get Rid Of The RCMP!

The refrain of "Enough is Enough" has long been heard in Surrey but now residents are mad as hell about escalating and non-stop violence in the City with many saying it's time for tough police action and some tough decisions like getting rid of the RCMP and bringing in municipal policing which can better manage the city's crime and protection affairs. This week saw another victim in 47-year-old Paul Bennett, who was gunned down in his own driveway over the weekend. It's quite shocking the number of shootings and murders in Surrey but police inaction is also a concern as very few of the killings are being solved. Mounties have not announced a single arrest in connection with any of this year's seven homicides in Surrey.

SURREY – The refrain of "Enough is Enough" has long been heard in Surrey but now residents are mad as hell about escalating and non-stop violence in the City with many saying it's time for tough police action and some tough decisions like getting rid of the RCMP and bringing in municipal policing which can better manage the city's crime and protection affairs.

This week saw another victim in 47-year-old Paul Bennett, who was gunned down in his own driveway over the weekend.

Surveillance video shows a suspect firing more than half a dozen shots in broad daylight in the busy cul-de-sac where the beloved hockey coach and father of two lived. While it would appear that Bennett's killing was perhaps mistaken identity but police say the murder was clearly targeted.

Bennet's murder comes on the heels of early June killings of two Indo-Canadian teens –  16-year-old Jaskarn Singh Jhutty and 17-year-old Jaskaran Singh Bhangal, whose bodies were found  at the side of a rural road. They too had been shot and killed in targeted attacks.

A rally in the wake of the deaths of Jhutti and Bhangal attracted thousands looking for answers to end the violence and much of the crowd's anger was directed towards Mayor Linda Hepner and councillor Tom Gill, who is now the mayoral candidate for the incumbent Surrey First party.

It's quite shocking the number of shootings and murders in Surrey but police inaction is also a concern as very few of the killings are being solved.

Mounties have not announced a single arrest in connection with any of this year's seven homicides in Surrey.

The issue of gun violence is likely to play a significant role in the city's upcoming municipal election.

"If you recall the last election, crime was an issue and here we are four years later talking about the same thing," said Surrey Community Alliance president Doug Elford.

Even some current councillors are admitting there needs to be more accountability.

"Every time we spend resources, we want to understand that one officer, 10 officers or 100 officers…What can that expectation be?" Gill said.

Surrey residents will head to the polls on Oct. 20 to elect their new mayor and city councillors. Until then, voters will be keeping a close eye on how the candidates intend to make sure no more innocent lives are lost.

Another issue sure to be front and centre in Surrey will be that Surrey needs to get rid of the RCMP and usher its own independent police force.

An SFU criminologist Curt Taylor Griffiths, the co-ordinator of Simon Fraser University's Police Studies Program at the Surrey campus, weighed in saying Surrey indeed needs it's own police force.

Griffiths said tackling gang violence would be easier if the city had its own self-controlled, independent police force.

The problem with an RCMP municipal detachment is that they share funding with other cities and often can't afford to bring on more officers, said Griffiths.

Also, a municipal detachment has no control over which officers come and how long they stay with the force, he said.

If Surrey had an independent force, said Griffiths, they would have a police board, could hire and fire a police chief and would be able to hire officers who work in Surrey for their entire career.

"A lot RCMP officers policing in Surrey aren't from Surrey and won't be staying in Surrey," said Griffiths.

"That presents a challenge in terms of the officers knowing the community and being invested in the community."

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