THERE is increasing resentment at the way Surrey First under Mayor Dianne Watts and her Surrey First councillors neglected the Newton area with Sunday’s stabbings at a restaurant in the area where hockey mom Julie Paskall was robbed and murdered just a block away in the parking lot of the community center on December 29 last year.
Surrey RCMP told media that two employees noticed a man in the back of Wings restaurant near 72nd Avenue and King George Boulevard around 12:30 p.m. and tried to hold him until police arrived, but the man reportedly stabbed them with a knife from the kitchen and fled.
The employees were taken to hospital and are expected to recover.
The incident happened while there were many customers in the restaurant.
The suspect is a white male in his 40s with a heavy build. He was wearing glasses and wore a black jacket with red writing on the back.
Residents believe that nothing will improve until there is a change in City Hall first.
SURREY mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode noted on Momday that the Surrey RCMP had released new crime statistics that support what the community has been saying for over a year – crime is on the rise in Surrey and help is needed.
“The numbers don’t lie and it’s time for Linda Hepner and Surrey First to stop denying the facts and take some responsibility,” said Rasode.
The new statistics show that total crime is up by 21 per cent over last year, and property crime is up 27 per cent. Rasode said auto theft, fraud, and stolen property crimes have skyrocketed, which is affecting people in their daily lives. And, attempted murder, abduction and kidnapping are also up, which has left people feeling unsafe.
“It’s ironic that Doug calls his team Safe Surrey, because when he was mayor, crime shot up and Surrey was the auto theft capital of North America. His only concrete action was to muzzle the police,” said Rasode. “And, now Surrey First is denying that crime is on the rise and ignoring the community’s cry for help. Will Surrey First finally acknowledge that crime is a problem, and will Doug realize these are symptoms of chronically underfunding a police force during his time as mayor?”
Rasode and the One Surrey team said they believe the city deserves a government that will take concrete and immediate action to fix Surrey’s crime problem.
SURREY mayoral hopeful Doug McCallum and the Safe Surrey Coalition questioned the validity of public safety claims made by both Linda Hepner and Barinder Rasode following the release of new Surrey crime statistics that show an upward trend.
The Surrey RCMP have released their 3rd Quarter Crime Stat Report, which shows that overall crime for the year is up 21 per cent when compared to the first nine months of 2013. The report also shows increases of 14 per cent in violent crimes, 27 per cent in property crimes, 23 per cent in other criminal code offenses and a 25 per cent jump overall increase when comparing quarter 3 in 2013 to quarter 3 in 2014.
Alarmingly, Surrey is now being confronted by mayoral candidates that continue to quote statistics that do not reflect current realities, or do not match up to their record in office.
On October 30, Hepner stated on a Shaw cable television debate that “The fact of the matter is our crime has gone down 50% in the past nine years.” On May 15, Hepner told CTV News that she was “too busy to talk about crime and her ideas about solving it.” She also was a part of the Council (along with Rasode) who approved only 12 new RCMP officers for 2014 when the RCMP initially asked for 27. This was eventually changed to 30 in May 2014 after a string of murders shook public confidence. These officers have still not been added to the force.
McCallum said that Hepner is now politically promising 147 new officers in the two years, when the fact is that the City of Surrey has never hit the mark of one officer for every 700 residents that was recommended in the 2007 City of Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy.
On January 1, 2012, Barinder Rasode was the Surrey First anointed Chair of the Police Committee and offered this quote in response to a murder:
“I understand for a family that’s gone through this now, stats don’t mean much. But this rash of recent murders is really an anomaly – violent crime has actually gone down.” – January 1, 2012
This is in direct contradiction to her current political concern for crime in the city, which she was shockingly silent about in her more than three years as Chair of the Police Committee.
By contrast, McCallum has a documented record of cleaning up Surrey’s Whalley area as mayor with a tough on crime approach that saw the closure of dozens of drug dens in the area, as well as increased police patrol and presence that dramatically decreased violent and property crime.
“A sudden concern for public safety by my two opponents is nothing more than election inspired ploys for votes, because their records certainly do not match up to their current empty promises,” said McCallum.