SURREY First mayoral candidate Tom Gill on Tuesday said releasing high-risk sexual offender Jeffrey Goddard into an undisclosed Surrey neighbourhood with “just a warning” to the community shows there is something incredibly wrong with our justice system, and he wants it changed.
“Children and teens make up one-third of our city’s population, the exact age groups that are his targets,” said Gill. “Releasing someone with Goddard’s extensive criminal record into a local neighbourhood, then warning the community to watch out for him, tells me the system has this whole thing backwards. How many times do you have to offend, or breach the terms of your release, before the justice system says enough is enough? Then you add insult to injury by telling the community he’s somewhere in our city, but you don’t say where.”
Surrey First council candidate Trevor Halford, a father of three young children, said this kind of blatant disregard for Surrey neighbourhoods and young families is unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated by the community.
“This guy isn’t supposed to be near anyone under 18, he can’t be near schools or playgrounds and he can’t be on the internet,” said Halford. “Isn’t that enough to tell you he doesn’t belong in a city where one of every three people is a child or teenager, the very people he’s not supposed to be near? It’s ridiculous that the justice system would heap this kind of anxiety on a community when someone with this kind of high-risk to offend belongs in jail and not on our streets.”
“My entire campaign has been focused on providing opportunities for our young people as part of our public safety strategy,” said Gill. “This treatment of our community and its families flies in the face of everything we believe in.”