Surrey RCMP say 50 individuals have been under investigation and three have been deported for engaging in violent criminal activity in the Newtown area.
“In the last three months, two videos of assaults and other offences involving large groups of youths in the Newton area have circulated on social media, bringing forward safety concerns from residents and police,” said RCMP in a release.
In August, a video of a group of males fighting in the parking lot of a strip mall in Strawberry Hill began making rounds on social media.
This week, a second video emerged showing a large mob of young men ganging up on individuals in a parking lot during the early hours of November 11, assaulting them and vandalizing their vehicles with golf clubs and other makeshift weapons.
It’a happening almost every week in Surrey or Brampton. It’s time to stop it. Respected politicians will you do something about it? @JustinTrudeau @sukhdhaliwal @randeepssarai @SurreyRCMP @HarryBainsSN @JagrupBrar1 @jinnysims @NavdeepSBains @rubysahotalib @HarjitSajjan pic.twitter.com/gAdln5Ma0y
— Gurpreet S. Sahota (@GurpreetSSahota) November 15, 2019
As a result of an investigation into the Strawberry Hill incident, three people have been deported from Canada, and police say the status of three other individuals is being “reviewed.”
In March 2019, Surrey RCMP’s Community Response Unit (CRU) launched an enforcement project in the Strawberry Hill neighbourhood to address public safety concerns specifically regarding “youths and congregating in the area and generating complaints of harassment, public intoxication, and fights.”
“This on-going project has included an overt presence of Frontline and CRU officers, as well as regular patrols by Traffic Services and the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team,” said Surrey RCMP.
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Officers and volunteers from the Business Engagement and Safety team also engaged with business owners and property managers to improve safety measures in the area.
Working with police, some local businesses implemented traffic-calming measures and upgraded their private security.
“These measures are not only a deterrent to criminal activity, but reports made to police by private security are helping address any possible under-reporting of these incidents to police,” said RCMP.
The Surrey RCMP’s Diversity & Indigenous Peoples Unit is also working with local international student groups to educate them about staying safe during their stay in Canada.
Surrey RCMP says that while not all of these incidents involve international students, officials want to remind individuals visiting Canada on a Visa “that any engagement in criminal activity violates the condition of their Visa and they could be removed from Canada as a result.”
In a statement, Superintendent Shawn Gill, Community Services Officer with Surrey RCMP, encourages residents and business owners to report any concerning activity.
“We want to assure the community that our Community Response Unit has been actively engaged in this issue for the past eight months,” he said.
“While these incidents involving groups of youth are somewhat isolated, we are dealing with those responsible for these disturbances, and working to prevent further incidents from happening.”
The investigation of the assault with a weapon and mischief that occurred on November 11, 2019, is on-going. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. If you wish to make an anonymous report, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.