ELEVEN years after Vancouver launched its famous Bar Watch program, the City of Surrey will finally have its own program to keep notorious individuals out of bars and restaurants.
The Surrey RCMP announced on Thursday that they, together with the City of Surrey, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) and Restaurants Canada, are launching the Inadmissible Patrons Program (IPP) in Surrey this week to further support public safety and deter individuals who are associated to violent crime from being in Surrey. The creation of the program follows a key recommendation in the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention Report, which was released in July 2018, and the 2017 BC Task Force on Illegal Firearms.
The Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) developed the IPP in conjunction with restaurant partners to help prevent violent criminal activity in and around licensed establishments to increase overall public safety as well as the safety of restaurant / bar patrons and staff. The IPP is modelled after the Vancouver Police Department’s successful Restaurant Watch program.
“The Inadmissible Patrons Program is one way that business owners, the City, and the RCMP will be sending a clear message to gang members that they are not welcome in Surrey,” says Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge. “This program also gives our Surrey Gang Enforcement Team an additional point of contact with gang members so we can continue to make it uncomfortable for those involved in organized or violent crime to be in this city.”
“It has been made abundantly clear to me that Surrey residents want positive action on gangs and gun crimes,” says Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “The Inadmissible Patrons Program will not only identify gang members and individuals associated with violent crime, but the program will also allow for police to remove them immediately from the premises. As seen in other jurisdictions, this program will make it tough for criminals to do business in our city.”
The IPP will work to protect the safety of patrons, staff and the general public by giving police the legal authority, through authorization agreements and the BC Trespass Act, to remove individuals deemed as “inadmissible patrons” from participating establishments. An inadmissible patron is defined as a person whose lifestyle, associations and / or activities pose a risk to public safety, either directly or from third parties. This includes people who are involved with or associated to organized crime, gangs, and the drug trade. Police officers will assess each situation and individual separately; outright bans will not be a part of the IPP and police will not create any lists of inadmissible patrons.
“After seeing the success the Restaurant Watch program had in significantly reducing gang violence in and around Vancouver restaurants, many of our members have been asking for similar programs in their municipalities,” says Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “Restaurants Canada was a supporter of the Restaurant Watch program since its inception, and we similarly welcome the launch of the Inadmissible Patrons Program in Surrey. We look forward to working with the City of Surrey and the RCMP to support its success.”
“We applaud the Surrey RCMP in launching the Inadmissible Patrons Program,” says Ian Tostenson, British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association, President / CEO. “Vancouver’s Restaurant Watch program had an immediate effect in sending a message to those involved in organized crime, drugs and gangs to ‘stay away – you are not welcome’, making it safer for the patrons and workers of our industry.”
Surrey’s new IPP is being rolled out in a graduated approach with eight restaurants and bars participating in the initial launch and more being added as the program grows. There are also plans to expand the IPP to major public events in Surrey and possibly other types of businesses in the future. Participating establishments will display the IPP logo in their window or other prominent location.
Licensed establishments that are interested in joining the Inadmissible Patrons Program in Surrey can contact the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team at [email protected].
Backgrounder: Surrey Inadmissible Patrons Program
Inadmissible Patrons Program (IPP)
On December 6, the Surrey RCMP launched the Inadmissible Patrons Program (IPP) in Surrey, in partnership with the City of Surrey, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) and Restaurants Canada. Modelled after VPD’s Restaurant Watch program, the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) developed the IPP to help prevent violent criminal activity in and around licensed establishments and to deter gang members from conducting their criminal activities in Surrey. The program will also give SGET an additional point of direct contact with gang members, furthering their goal of disrupting gang activity in Surrey.
1. Public Safety: To deter public violence caused by organized crime groups and their associates by making it known that they are unwelcome in and will be removed from participating establishments.
2. Patron Safety: To reduce the threat of collateral violence to establishment patrons by deterring individuals, whose activities pose a risk to public safety, from frequenting participating establishments.
3. Staff Safety: To reduce interactions between establishment staff and individuals associated to criminal activity in order to eliminate the intimidation and fear such contact can bring.
Who are “Inadmissible Patrons”
An Inadmissible Patron is defined as a person whose lifestyle, associations and/or activities pose a risk to public safety, either directly or from third parties. This includes people who are involved with or associated to organized crime, gangs, and the drug trade. In determining if someone is considered an Inadmissible Patron, police officers will weigh factors such as length of criminal history, seriousness of past criminal offences, risk the person poses to the public, current associates, and length of time since last offence. Outright bans will not be a part of the IPP and the Surrey RCMP will not maintain a list of Inadmissible Patrons.
How IPP Works
Licenced bars and restaurants in Surrey that choose to join the IPP will sign an Inadmissible Patron Agreement (IPA) that authorizes the Surrey RCMP to act on the establishment’s behalf to identify and remove Inadmissible Patrons from the premises. Under the BC Trespass Act, authorized persons can require a person’s name and address (Section 8(1)) and ask them to leave the premises (Section 4(3)). The IPA removes the business from having to ask Inadmissible Patrons to leave as some employees may feel intimidated or fearful about asking these people to leave their establishment. Inadmissible Patrons will not be arrested or charged, providing they leave the establishment when requested by a person in authority.
Surrey’s IPP is being rolled out gradually, with seven restaurants and bars participating as of the December 2018 launch date. Participating establishments will display the IPP logo in their window or other prominent location. The program will begin with restaurants and bars, with plans to expand it to major public events and possibly other types of businesses in the future. Licensed establishments in Surrey that are interested in joining the IPP can contact the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team at [email protected].