The Formation of the Safe Surrey Coalition
The Safe Surrey Coalition represents a serious response to the growing problems of crime and insecurity infiltrating the streets of our city. Faced with a Mayor and City Council that continues to show a complete lack of understanding for the needs of the community, the Safe Surrey Coalition has come together to offer citizens a clear plan and a decisive commitment to take immediate action.
Led by Mayoral candidate Doug McCallum who proudly served the City of Surrey as Mayor for 9 years, the Safe Surrey Coalition encompasses a group of candidates with diverse community involvement, political affiliations and professional backgrounds, who are united by one overpowering concern: Public Safety.
The priorities of Surrey residents are unmistakable. In a March 2014 poll conducted by Insights West, the views of residents were heard loud and clear:
- 51% list crime as the most important issue facing the city
- 49% of residents believe that crime as increased over the past 5 years
- 53% are “a great deal” or “a fair amount” fearful of becoming a victim of crime
- 48% feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood after dark
- 69% feel there is “insufficient policing and a lack of resources to combat crime”
- Only 27% are supportive of the way their municipal government is handling the issue of crime
In response, Councillor Linda Hepner launched her campaign to be Mayor by stating that “just a ferris wheel” on the waterfront was a “vision that I would like to see happen…because that’s what moves you to greatness.”
Councillor Barinder Rasode, a member of Surrey First for 5.5 years, has voted for every Police Committee meeting she has attended since 2008 to remain closed to the public. Her performance on the issue of crime was described in an April 2014 email by current Mayor Dianne Watts to all of Council:
“As Chair of the Police Committee and holder of the Public Safety Portfolio for years you never once mentioned…nor did you bring any of these issues of ‘concern’ to Council or to the Police Committee over those years. Not until Julie’s death and then chose to do it through the media and still to this day you have not brought this ‘issue’ forward at a Council meeting or budget meeting or the Police Committee.”
Personal politics of ambition and division are the wrong direction for Surrey. The time for action is now.
The Safe Surrey Coalition is proud to present our Public Safety Platform for consideration by the citizens of Surrey. This is the first of several policy proposals that will be released over the coming months.