Surrey RCMP Victim Services Program marks 30th anniversary

If you think catching crooks is tough, how about telling someone their loved one has died as a result of crime?

Members of the Surrey RCMP Victims Services Program have been doing just that for 30 years now.

An average of 2,800 people in the city are served by program each year, with the most common calls being for sudden death and next-of-kin notifications. They deal with just about everything else too.

“It can be anything from a purse snatching, break-and-enter, somebody’s vehicle being broken into, to assault, domestic assault, sexual assault, right up to homicide,” explains Mark Elson, the Interventions Programs Manager for the City of Surrey Support Services to the RCMP.

As Surrey has grown, so has the program.

“We’ve expanded our coverage of service so we now provide seven days a week service, 21 hours a day, and the other three hours are on a call-out basis,” he explains.

What began as a two person section in 1983 has now grown to seven full time employees and four auxiliary members.