SURREY RCMP continue to provide multiple education, prevention, and intervention programs that encourage young people to make the right choices and prevent them from getting involved in a life of crime and gang violence.
In the past three years, the detachment has increased its Youth Unit by 20% and has started focusing on younger age groups, realizing the positive impact this can have once students enter secondary school.
During the 2017 / 2018 school year, the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit is working closely with its school and community partners to increase positive youth-police engagement in one of the largest school districts in the province. Here are a few examples of the new initiatives these police officers are involved in:
- Game On! – A mentoring program between Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, the Surrey School District, and the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit to support youth who exhibit signs of gang associated behaviour, prior to their entry to the WRAP program.
- Girls Got Game – Youth officers participate in this City of Surrey after school program, which focuses on improving the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee girls, aged 9 to 13.
- Youth Unit officers are working with the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) to expand the Surrey Schools’ CASTLE program to two additional schools. This after school program equips boys, aged 8-13, to become model citizens and use their voices for positive purposes.
- Officers are working with the City of Surrey and their MYzone after school program that focuses on physical activity with police officers for ages 8 to 12.
- The Surrey RCMP’s Mini-Blue fitness-based program has expanded to five Surrey elementary schools (W.E Kinvig, Lena Shaw, Hazelgrove, David Brankin, and Strawberry Hills Elementary Schools).
- The Unit’s involvement in the Big Brothers’ In School Mentoring program has expanded to include every police officer in the Youth Unit.
- Bridging the Gap – An innovative program that brings parents and youth together to examine what pressures youth face and how parents can best help their teens cope with these pressures.
In addition to these initiatives, School Resources Officers are assigned to every school in Surrey and are responsible for not only attending calls for service at schools, but for education and outreach with students of all ages.
“I am very proud of the role the Surrey RCMP plays in the continuing expansion of youth programs, initiatives, and positive youth-police engagement opportunities,” says Superintendent Shawn Gill, Surrey RCMP Community Services Officer. “Together with our school and community partners, we are committed to providing a multi-pronged approach to support youth as they navigate their way into adulthood.”
“The Surrey School District has long been focused on finding innovative ways to help our youth stay on the right track and away from a life of crime,” says Surrey Board of Education Chairperson Shawn Wilson. “Working with the Surrey RCMP and other community partners, we continue to explore unique opportunities to get through to kids about the trappings of a criminal lifestyle. As a community, we must break the cycle of criminal behaviour and show that there are other more productive options out there to succeed in life.”
Surrey RCMP say they are committed to a long-term strategy to address the issue of youth criminal involvement by promoting positive choices for kids and accessible support and guidance to parents. In addition to their prevention and education initiatives, they have a number of intervention strategies that include our Parent Helpline, Youth Intervention Program, and Restorative Justice Program.