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Police, city team up to tackle issues in South Surrey neighbourhood
Neighbours of a South Surrey house where 18 people were arrested Sept. 5 say the police drug raid, while appreciated, afforded them only a brief reprieve from the problem.
"It's… fully operational," said one man. "It took less than 24 hours."
Specialized police units descended on the two-storey home, located in the 15400-block of 22 Avenue, around 9 p.m. Sept. 5. The raid – in which a small quantity of drugs and stolen identification documents were seized – was part of an ongoing investigation into activity at the house, which neighbours say began when new tenants moved in on Aug. 1.
Neighbourhood concern is such that parents "don't even let their kids outside," the man said, citing "massive amounts of traffic."
Another area resident described the situation as "really a drag… like we live in the bronx."
The woman cited blatant backyard deals and said the youth she sees frequenting the house in question "look like hell."
"It will just blow your mind and break your heart," she said.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet confirmed Wednesday that police continue to field complaints concerning activities at the house, and assured efforts to deal with the issue have not abated.
"We're obviously very familiar here with that residence and will continue until the problem has been resolved," Paquet said. "The attention we dedicate to the residence and its occupants is definitely ongoing."
Paquet – noting charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are pending against three men arrested during the raid – said police are also working with City of Surrey staff on other avenues of enforcement that are hoped to make a difference.
Bylaw enforcement manager Jas Rehal confirmed the property owner has been given until the end of this week (Sept. 13) to clean up the site, which has been deemed unsightly. Non-compliance will result in the city doing the job next week and billing the owner.
A similar order in July landed the property owner with a $5,000-fine, Rehal said.
"It has gotten unsightly again and we're in the middle of rectifying that using enforcement action… as well as looking at the nuisance element that it's created for the neighbourhood."
Under the city's nuisance bylaw, fines and court orders directed at the property owner are possible.
"We're hoping in the next few weeks that we'll be able to move forward on the nuisance aspect," Rehal said.
Paquet encouraged area residents who notice suspicious activity or individuals to contact police every time.
"It is by knowing what is going on, it is by identifying subjects associated with that residence that we'll be able to build a stronger case in dealing with them," he said.