A dramatic brawl at a Surrey mall last Saturday has the head of a local crime prevention organization calling on police to pay serious attention.
“Our volunteers were there and witnessed the youth hanging out, and growing in size,” Karen Reid-Sidhu, executive director of Surrey Crime Prevention, told the Now-Leader. “Our Citizen Community Safety Watch Program is out from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and they’ve documented what they have seen.”
According to Reid-Sidhu, it happened on Saturday night (Aug. 10) at a strip mall in the city’s Strawberry Hill neighbourhood.
Reid-Sidhu shared a video of the incident on Facebook and said she was concerned for the safety of the public. She noted the incident has been reported to Surrey RCMP, who advised her they would step up patrols.
“This happens all the time,” Reid-Sidhu said. “Our volunteers have witnessed drinking in public, drug dealings, and the harassment of young girls. It is disgusting.”
“So tired of all this violence,” she added.
Surrey RCMP said Monday that no one officially reported the incident and urge the public to call them to report such behaviour.
Constable Richard Wright said the first time he saw that video was via a reddit.com link.
“It’s very common. It’s happened twice in the last two weeks,” Constable Richard Wright said of police being alerted to incidents following videos being shared on social media.
Having said that, Wright said the behaviour in the video is “completely unacceptable.”
“We absolutely understand the public’s concern regarding the behaviour in the video,” he said, adding that police “are aware that this behaviour goes on in the area.”
Local officers, he said, are “acutely aware” of the area’s challenges and that it is considered an “active hot spot for frontline officers, subject to multiple patrols throughout their shift.”
Wright said as a result of the video, the Crime Reduction Unit has opened an investigation into what went on and police ask anyone who recognizes anyone in the video to talk to police.
“The best way to get information to us is to call us, then share the video with us rather than have it come to us through the ether,” he added.
Call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.