Letters to the Editor

Surrey RCMP's officer in charge speaks out on gang activity

Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy - Leader file photo
Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy
— image credit: Leader file photo

In the wake of the two recent high profile gang related murders in the City of Surrey, I feel it is timely that I communicate directly with you, the citizens of Surrey about policing, and the consequences of choosing a gang related lifestyle.

As the City of Surrey’s Chief of Police, I am committed to communicating with you, and keeping you informed.

I feel it is important that you hear from me directly, because, I believe it is my responsibility to provide balance and context to these matters, and I am committed to doing so.

Let me begin by reiterating my firmly held belief that the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Surrey are law-abiding people, and that Surrey remains a safe community.  Those that choose to live the gang lifestyle put their families and friends at risk.

The landscape of violent crime and organized crime groups is constantly changing, and spans the Lower- Mainland, province and country.

I want you to know that we have a comprehensive approach to address gang violence, and it begins in our schools with our WRAP program, which seeks to identify young persons who are at risk, from a variety of influences and circumstances, to being recruited into the gang lifestyle. The Surrey RCMP WRAP program is recognized nationally as a model of excellence, and I am very proud of the work that they do.

I have personally met with a local chapter president of the Hells Angels to discourage their establishing a chapter in Surrey and, to date, they have not.

We also have a Surrey Gang Enforcement Team, a group of police members whose sole purpose is to concentrate on gang enforcement and eradication measures that ensure that gangsters and those that associate with them do not feel welcome in our City. Our Gang Enforcement Team is aligned with our Criminal Intelligence Service to ensure that our communication, intelligence, and enforcement efforts are in alignment.

Our Surrey RCMP investigators and leaders regularly liaise with our partner agencies to share intelligence and enforcement strategies. I have, myself, engaged in this important public safety issue by meeting with high profile gang members in an effort to diffuse the gang tensions.

We are actively engaged with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, local police departments and provincial and federal agencies across Canada in the identification of protocols with regard to the current gang conflicts and enforcement strategies.  This work has helped with the creation of a comprehensive national enforcement strategy, which includes police agencies at the regional, provincial and national levels, all working in a coordinated manner to make communities across the country safer.

There is much being done, and I can assure you that our tactics are very robust, and place us in the forefront of policing.

Today’s gangs cross provincial and even international boundaries, and I remain committed to trying to ensure that, in concert with all of our law enforcement partners, our communities remain safe.

 

Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy

Officer in Charge - Surrey Detachment

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