Surrey has had a history of gang violence taking place inside its borders, and the city is addressing the issue head on. Earlier this month, the report on the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention was presented to 100 guests from the provincial government, law enforcement, local businesses, the school district and more.
The report calls for six key recommended actions:
- Create an intervention program for at-risk middle school children
- Establish a Senior Prevention Coordinating Committee
- Work with all branches of government to coordinate a neighbourhood-specific approach to prevention
- Develop a communication campaign to expose the harsh realities of gang and gun crimes, and highlight success stories
- Expand current initiatives to support youth and adults to exit the gang lifestyle
- Implement an inadmissible patron program, which aims to increase citizen safety by deterring criminal activities in places of business
“I’d like to thank the City of Surrey and the Mayor’s Task Force for their important work toward preventing gun and gang violence and improving the quality of life for citizens in British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“We’re proud to support their work and we’re committed to ensuring we provide the resources necessary to enable early interventions for our youth and support for those who seek to exit the gang lifestyle. Our government will continue to target gun and gang violence head-on and work with police agencies, anti-gang units and our federal partners to make sure our youth are knowledgeable and resilient, and that police have the tools and structure they need to prevent crime and disrupt organized crime groups.”
In compiling the report, the team listened to and participated in discussions on topics such as the B.C. gang landscape and profile, risk factors and prevention practices; held a workshop to process the information and identify possible gaps and solutions; reviewed pertinent literature; conducted interviews with academics and program leads in Surrey and other regions; and liaised with various city, RCMP, school and non-profit stakeholder officials.
The task force was originally launched in October of last year, comprised of 23 community partners. Read the full report here.