TWO independent research reports relating to Surrey RCMP performance targets in service delivery and public and police safety echo many of the proposals outlined in the Safe Surrey Coalition’s Public Safety Platform, say Safe Surrey Coalition.
Conducted by Dr. Irwin Cohen, RCMP Research Chair at the University of the Fraser Valley, and Dr. Peter Bellmio, a police management consultant, the reports paint a picture of an understaffed Surrey RCMP detachment that lacks a proactive approach, adequate resources, or necessary intelligence-centred deployment strategies.
Released last month, the Safe Surrey Coalition’s Public Safety Platform committed to an “increased police and enforcement presence on Surrey’s streets,” “proactive policing” based on collaboration and an increased presence, “double the amount of officers on street patrol,” setting ” minimum thresholds for service levels,” and finally “encourage greater involvement” in community policing from the public.
Both reports contain information that completely support these proposals, according to Surrey mayoral candidate Doug McCallum.
“I am pleased that both of these reports confirm the core principles outlined in the Safe Surrey Coalition’s Public Safety Platform,” says McCallum. “I have stated from the beginning of this campaign that Surrey’s RCMP staffing levels are too low, and that a proactive approach is required immediately to improve the safety and security of Surrey’s streets.”
Some of the more concerning points in the reports include:
* 24 per cent of RCMP staffing days are lost to leave, training and non-field duties
* There are no standards set for frontline police staffing
* Emergency response times are significantly longer than in other communities across Canada
* 63 new General Duty Constables (GDCs) are needed to increase proactive policing and reduce time spent on Calls For Service (CFS)
* Surrey has the 2nd highest Crime Severity Index score in BC (second only to Prince George)
* Surrey has a lower than average police to population ratio and a higher than average case burden
* The public can still keep the detachment accountable through clear expectations of crime prevention
“Linda Hepner has spoken about how my concerns about RCMP staffing levels is fear mongering, and also characterized calls for more officers ‘myopic and simplistic’. These reports demonstrate how wrong and out of touch she is,” says McCallum.