Re: Teen killed in altercation, Dec. 16.
I live near Jessie Lee Elementary, and for the past several years, I have seen teenagers drink, smoke, yell, commit vandalism, break windows, light fires, ride motorcycles, and shoot fireworks at the school, among other things. My home has been victimized by theft, and I frequently phone the police, but the rampage continues unabated, with teenagers ruling the night with impunity.
A week ago, I spoke with a police officer, and I again warned him about the out-of-control behaviour of teens; now a 15-year-old child is dead.
So I ask politicians of every stripe: what are you going to do about the lack of safety in our community?
Bob Burgel, Surrey
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An open letter to Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
Another child dies tragically in the streets that you were elected to protect. Another victim of senseless, violent crime that shouldn’t have happened. Another group of family and friends’ lives forever damaged.
So, Linda Hepner, newly appointed mayor of this city, I ask you, on behalf of these families, what are you doing about this?
Since you were elected on Nov. 15, all I have seen you and your constituents do is celebrate, all on the taxpayers’ dime, I’m sure – hard-earned tax dollars that could have been put to better use, such as surveillance cameras and brighter lighting in our neighbourhood parks, more police patrols and better programs for our young kids.
Were you just waiting for after the holidays to get to work on your ‘crime reduction strategy,’ which is an absolute joke, by the way? It seems to suggest graffiti is one of this city’s worst crime issues. Really?
What about innocent people like Dario Bartoli and Julie Paskall being brutally killed in their own neighbourhoods? The strategy deals more with illegal dumping and shutting down “grow-ops” than it does with taking psychopaths and murderers off our streets.
Sure, one can say these victims were just in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” but from where I see it, in a safe city there should be no “wrong place” or “wrong time.”
People of Surrey, all citizens of this city, should be able to feel safe where they live. But we don’t.
A hockey mom should be able to wait for her son outside a busy arena, and two teens should be able to walk a few blocks home from a party without worrying about being killed.
We are justified in our anger. The streets of this city have felt unsafe for far too long. The city posted a record number of murders, 25, in 2013, and so far this year there have been 18 homicides – without fourth-quarter statistics being out yet. Dario’s murder bringing that to at least 19.
So, Linda Hepner, are you going to do what your predecessor, Dianne Watts, failed to do? Make our streets and neighbourhoods safe to live in, any time day or night?
I say put down the champagne glass and get to work.
Karen Burwash, Surrey