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Surrey's mayor refuses to comment following 12 shootings in one month

(Courtesy surrey.ca)

SURREY (NEWS1130) – People want to hear from the mayor.  Shots have been fired a dozen times in Surrey over the last month but Mayor Linda Hepner is refusing to talk about it.  When News1130 tried to get a hold of Hepner, we were referred to the RCMP.

But that’s not sitting well with Doug Elford of the Newton Community Association, who says it’s a concern Hepner isn’t taking a stronger stand on the issue of crime.

“I think maybe she might want to come out and say that there’s a genuine concern for what’s going on to the people, maybe calming words to the people of Surrey saying you know, we’re working on it, we’re working behind the scenes, rest assured, we’re not letting things go by the wayside, and that we’re working with the RCMP, giving all the resources they can to ensure that they fix the problem.  Along those lines would be really, at least a statement, is something that we’d be looking for.”

He thinks this is likely an embarrassment for Hepner, saying she downplayed there being a crime problem during the election campaign, and only made it an issue because of community pressure.

Elford adds people are upset about the ongoing safety concerns in their community.

“Initially we were concerned, very concerned, and we still are very concerned about our families and our neighbours possibly being the victims of this violence, but now the community is at a point where the community ourselves are saying, ‘Look, you guys know who these children are, it’s time for us to start working on the problem ourselves.’  The RCMP is working hard but we’ve had enough, they’re your families, they’re your sons, your uncles, your aunts, your cousins — you know where these guys are and it’s time for them to stop hiding these children, and {help} the RCMP out.  We all know who these children are, but now it’s time to step up.  Let’s put a stop to this ourselves.  We can’t let these guys go rolling down the street shooting each other all the time, cause somebody’s going to get hurt.”

He thinks some of the blame lies with the provincial government.

“With all the cutbacks in the school system, there’s not enough money there to provide the support for children that may be identified as going off the beaten track on the way up, so I think the provincial government has to wear this a bit as well, because the money needs to be back in the schools to address these youth at risk.  Coming out of the schools they know who they are, and they can’t do anything about it, and this is what people are telling us.  We know who these kids are, we know they’ve gotten off the beaten track, but they’re not getting the appropriate counselling and the parents aren’t getting the appropriate help either and that’s a real problem cause we’re not being able to nip it in the bud.”

The most recent shooting was on Wednesday morning near 128th Street and 64th Avenue, when bullets were fired from a silver car at a black Honda.