Mayor angry at transfer of ‘Marpole Rapist’ to halfway house in Surrey

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio

SURREY Mayor Doug McCallum on Friday in a statement said that the news that the ‘Marpole Rapist’ Gary Jagur Singh will be released on day parole in Surrey “is not only disturbing but infuriating to the people of Surrey.”

He said: “The Parole Board of Canada acknowledges that Singh’s sexual deviancy can never be cured. In a previous day parole, Singh breached his conditions and he has been denied full parole now, which makes his release to a halfway house in Surrey all the more irresponsible and troubling.”

McCallum added: “Singh is a designated dangerous offender and I am frustrated by the lack of information coming from the RCMP. For the safety of the people of Surrey, I believe that our residents need to be told where this prolific sexual predator is residing in Surrey. That information should be made available immediately.”

Statement from Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards

Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio

I acknowledge the frustration expressed by Mayor McCallum in the news release he issued today (January 10, 2020) regarding the release of a dangerous offender into Surrey. While the Surrey RCMP share many of these concerns, it is important to recognize there is a significant process in place by the Parole Board of Canada to determine if and when an offender can be released into the community and the conditions they are put under.

When the Surrey RCMP were notified of this individual’s release into Surrey, we conducted our own assessment that included the fulsome decision made by Parole Board of Canada. Unfortunately, the threshold for a Public Interest Disclosure was not met in this situation for a variety of reasons including whether the individual posed an imminent threat, the recommended conditions, and the strong release plan approved by the Parole Board. However, we are aware of the significant conditions in place for this individual, including electronic monitoring, and we will be monitoring this individual, along with Correctional Service Canada.

I personally advised Mayor McCallum of the situation on two separate occasions and provided him the information that could legally be provided to him regarding this situation. While I acknowledge that the limited information that the police are able to provide in these cases can cause frustration, we have a legal obligation to balance the privacy of individuals and the risk to public safety. Police can only breach that privacy under the strictest of circumstances and, in this situation, that threshold was not reached.  

I share the public’s concern on this matter. I can assure the residents of Surrey that the correct processes were followed in this situation, and that we have a team specifically assigned to monitoring these types of offenders to ensure they do not breach their conditions or impact public safety in any manner.

Background

GARY Jagur Singh, 64, was convicted of sexually assaulting 11 Vancouver women, aged 19 to 51, mainly in Vancouver’s Marpole area between January 1988 and August 1991. DNA evidence linked him to the crime scenes.

Some women he grabbed off the street while others he sexually assaulted in their apartments. He used a weapon in four attacks.

He was declared a dangerous offender in 1994. He was released on day parole in November 2006, but that was revoked in January 2008 when he tried to pick up a prostitute when he was supposed to be at work.

He was classified as a minimum-security offender in May 2016 and in 2017 he was allowed escorted temporary absences with his family. In December 2017, the Parole Board of Canada found that he poses an undue risk to re-offend and denied him day as well as full parole. But the board said that he did not pose a risk to re-offend if he is permitted unescorted absences with relatives under special conditions such as not to drink, to report all intimate sexual and non-sexual relationships and friendships with women, not to drive, and not to have any direct or indirect contact with his victims or their families.

Now, he has been granted day parole for a second time thanks to a recommendation by the Correctional Service of Canada. The Parole Board last November noted about Singh: “You have managed to reduce your dynamic risk to moderate from high, you are assessed as having high accountability, high motivation, and are considered engaged in your correctional plan.

It added: “A recent psychological assessment indicates that you remain a moderate risk to reoffend, but that you have demonstrated that your risk can be managed in a community setting with structure and ongoing support.”

Among the conditions of his day parole are that he not consume alcohol or enter establishments where the primary sources of income is the sale of alcohol. He must report all intimate sexual and non-sexual relationships and friendships with females to his parole supervisor. He is not allowed to be in the company of sex trade workers or be present in areas where sex trade workers are known to frequent.

He must have no contact with any of the victims.

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