Gang-related crime is a regional issue, not a Surrey issue, says mayor

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Surrey’s mayor is happy with the job Mounties are doing and says people shouldn’t be pointing the finger entirely at her city when it comes to gang-related crime.

“You know it’s a regional issue that continues to play out and we’ll take the collaborative effort of everyone and this is a great example, this forum tonight,” said Linda Hepner, speaking to reporters last night before a forum on gang crime in the city.

She pointed to the 132 new Mounties added over the last two years as a sign of progress and, more recently, a half-million-dollar pledge from Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth to the Surrey Wraparound Program.

The program aims to keep kids out of the gang lifestyle.

“I think that any announcement where we can add to the services and programs that make young people realize that a gang lifestyle is not for them is an advantage to us and to this entire region. So I think it’s a very important announcement,” says Hepner.

But she points out she’s always open to more help.

“If the minister wants to help us in funding new officers or boosting where we had asked for help with CFSEU and the incredible work that they do. And they have been stretched through a budget that was cut several years ago.”

Hepner says she’ll also be looking for improvement across any and all public service areas.

“We’re going to put together a task force that examines all of the programs and services that we currently offer and see whether there are gaps, see whether there are opportunities to advance them at the regional level that will help all areas in the Lower Mainland.”

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