JUST when everyone was wondering where Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner was hiding as bullets whizzed around her city day after day with not a word from her, Surrey RCMP announced Monday morning that she would also be present at an update they would be providing in the afternoon – for whatever it was worth.
The others present at the press conference were Acting Surrey RCMP Officer-in-Charge, Superintendent Manny Mann, and Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC (CFSEU) Inspector Joanne Boyle.
As I had expected, all we got was the usual stuff – and Hepner’s ABSURDITY.
The angry, frustrated mayor suggested that these shameless guys involved in the shootings in the drug war that has been ongoing since March should be forced to pay their own medical costs when they are injured under the civil forfeiture law – BECAUSE they are NOT cooperating with police in helping them catch their attackers. Of course, the province considers such a suggestion absurd.
Hepner needs to take some elementary classes in crime!
Do you really expect people engaging in criminal activities to “cooperate” with police?!
Doesn’t she know what happens to those who rat out others in the criminal world? It happens, but it’s for police officers with investigative skills to get them to squeal – NOT for them to blame others for their own failure to build up intelligence within the community.
Terrified residents are enraged over what they see as Hepner’s abdication of her responsibilities as mayor. Indeed, they have given up any hope that she can handle the situation.
Ironically, the last weekend’s shootings occurred in the wake of some drastic action by Surrey RCMP and Delta Police along with the CFSEU-BC that appeared to have got the situation under some control.
Indeed, the shootings on Saturday, June 13 and on Monday, June 8 that police announced on Monday were connected to the ongoing drug war were even more brazen than before.
The June 13 exchange of gunfire between men in two vehicles in the 18600-block of Highway 10 in Cloverdale resulted in bullets hitting two homes and we are lucky that no innocent people were killed or injured.
The June 8 shooting in the parking lot of Earls Kitchen + Bar at 7236 120th Street in Surrey also could easily have ended in customers being killed or injured.
FRANKLY speaking, we don’t need any more excuses and explanations about so-called “low-level” drug operators. The STRESS on “low-level” doesn’t matter when these criminal elements are indulging in brazen behaviour that is seriously jeopardizing lives of innocent residents in a way that even HIGH-LEVEL gangsters haven’t done.
We also don’t need the POLITICS OF ATTACK regarding additional RCMP officers for Surrey. These officers should have been here years ago when Dianne Watts was ruling Surrey in her arrogant manner; now Hepner and the current Surrey RCMP bosses have to take all the blame.
We also don’t need Conservative MP Nina Grewal telling us how the federal Conservative Government is now waking up to save us – or federal NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu waking up now and using every shooting to do their own party propaganda as we approach the federal election.
The ongoing drug war since March is ONLY ONE of the many drug conflicts that are going on in Surrey and the rest of the Lower Mainland. We need the right kind of ACTION to bring this situation under control
In the long run, we must go for a REGIONAL POLICE FORCE. However, unfortunately, there seems to be NO political will at any level
to deal with this. The Premier and her folks very conveniently put all the onus on the mayors to agree to its formation – and the federal government sits back and watches the fun of passing the buck.
IN a piece titled “Expect shootings to continue day and night in Surrey!” in my column Rattan’s Rumble in the first week of April (online – www.voiceonline.com – and in our print edition), I had pointed out:
“And as The VOICE has reported in the past the much touted increase in RCMP officers that we have been promised is NOT going to have any real impact for the obvious reason that they have no experience.
“[Simon Fraser University’s well-known criminologist Dr. Robert] Gordon bluntly noted yet again: “It wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. The problem with the incoming police officers is that they are all fresh out of the Academy. They will not have the street smarts.”
“He added that there was no pool of police officers experienced in dealing with gangs who can be moved into Surrey from elsewhere.
“Gordon added: “But that still doesn’t get around the problem which is the lack of a coherent regional approach to policing, not just gangs generally,
but to policing as a whole. Obviously the provincial government and the electorate in Metro Vancouver are not concerned about that otherwise that would change. Politicians are not providing leadership.””
MPs Sims and Sandhu were back in Parliament on Thursday demanding answers from the Conservative government about their misleading statements.
Sandhu pointed out: “The Minister of Public Safety says 20 new RCMP officers are on the ground, but reports say this is not true. Have the additional RCMP officers made it to Surrey yet, yes or no?”
Sims said: “The minister said promised boots are already on the ground to fight gang violence in Surrey, but the truth is there are no new RCMP officers on the ground in Surrey. The current complement of RCMP officers is 703, exactly what it was more than two months ago. The minister misled the public. … Will Conservatives stop playing games with my community’s safety and tell us exactly when the 100 new RCMP officers they promised will actually be deployed?”
Sukh Dhaliwal, former MP and the Liberal Party candidate for the Surrey-Newton riding, also joined in the attack. He noted on Thursday: “Real change is about honesty in government. The truth is that the Conservatives are not being honest with us in Surrey about new RCMP ‘boots on the ground.’”
He said the City of Surrey has again been the unwilling participant in the Conservative Government’s electioneering, using the present youth gang violence and murders as a backdrop to claim that they are getting tough on crime. In this pre-election period, the Conservatives have been misleading Surrey residents that they have been fulfilling the city’s request for action to address these problems.
Dhaliwal said: “It is shameful that the Conservatives would take advantage of the fears in our community just to make political points, but not take any action to keep us safe.”
And, sadly, the political games will go on …