Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner alleges undermining of public safety

ASSISTANT Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer-in-Charge of Surrey RCMP, on Sunday released a statement on “public safety,” alleging that there has been “a deliberate attempt to undermine public safety in Surrey, by eroding public confidence in policing at the current time.”

Here is his full statement:

“AS you are aware, the City of Surrey is currently undertaking a transition towards a municipal police service. This is an incredibly complex process, which affects every aspect of public safety in the city of Surrey.

“Although a formal working agreement has not yet been signed, we are working towards the initial deployment of officers from the Surrey Police Service (SPS) into Surrey RCMP on November 30, 2021. The Surrey RCMP will remain the police of jurisdiction during the initial phases of the transition, and will remain as such until, SPS is able to take command of police operations without compromising public safety. There is still considerable work to be done before this will take place. As has always been the case, the safety of our community is our number one priority.

“Recently, several communications have been released to the public, which I believe have been a deliberate attempt to undermine public safety in Surrey, by eroding public confidence in policing at the current time.

“Whether it is releasing inaccurate statistical data, or mocking current public safety initiatives, I will not allow harmful rhetoric, to jeopardize public safety.

“I have addressed this issue with the Commanding Officer of BC RCMP, and the Mayor of Surrey. It is essential, particularly as our Province faces yet another state of emergency that we continue to maintain a stable safety environment in Surrey, and the Lower Mainland Region. As such, we will be taking our concerns to the Provincial Government.

“I will not tolerate efforts to undermine confidence in policing in this city and disrespect to our members while I am in charge.

“To my officers and employees, I will reiterate that you have my full support. Through your dedication and professionalism, you have driven down crime, including violent crime and gang violence through our targeted enforcement efforts. All of this with no increase to our establishment since 2018, and in the midst of a pandemic and stressful policing transition. The results speak for themselves.

“While we continue towards the policing transition, I can assure the public, the Surrey RCMP will maintain its leadership role, of providing stability and safety in Surrey.”