BY RATTAN MALL
SURREY RCMP along with Delta Police and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) have pressed on with their “focused enforcement” to rein in the two groups that are battling it out over the drug lines, resulting in a decline in the brazen shootings in the past weeks.
Indeed, it’s a miracle that there has been only one fatality in spite of dozens of shootings and injuries, both at night and in broad daylight, since April – that of Arun Paul Singh Bains, 22, nephew of MLA Harry Bains, who was shot dead at 126th Street and 88 Avenue on April 19. Police said he was known to be associated to the people connected to the street level drug trade conflict.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann told The VOICE on Thursday: “We believe we’ve identified the people that are involved in the conflict although we haven’t laid charges per se in the shootings, but after identifying those people we are watching them closely and taking a zero tolerance as far as any other offences they may commit.”
Since April 1, police have:
* arrested 514 people
* seized 76 weapons, 12 of which were firearms
* seized about 90 vehicles
* checked 4,544 people
* had charges laid against 146 people
Schumann added: “We are continuing on with the same program that we’ve been following, that is, the combined efforts of all three units focussing their energies on Surrey.”
WHEN I asked Schumann whether there other “gangs” besides the two rival ones police had mentioned some months ago, he pointed out: “We just don’t say ‘gangs’ because although maybe they meet the Criminal Code definition of a gang, they are not as well organized as some of the more traditional gangs that we are familiar with in the media.”
He added: “There are predominantly two groups that are fighting over the drug lines.”
He said that although police had previously identified one group as being South Asian and the other Somali in ethnicity, “but again, even within those groups there are other ethnicities. … So I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s a South Asian problem or a Somali problem or it’s a South Asian versus the Somalis [problem].”