Watts under growing pressure to improve safety in Newton

dianne wattsAs she faces mounting criticism in the wake of the murder of Julie Paskall, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says action has already begun to make Newton safer.

She says, “We have stepped up, I think about 3 weeks ago when we started the task force, we re-deployed 49 officers on the street between Whalley and Newton working and disrupting some of the problem residences, arresting some of the drug dealers. We are the recipient of the most government-assisted refugees in the province. And most certainly we’re seeing an influx and a change of demographic in that area as well. It’s changed some of the kids hanging around there to some of the other folks that are hanging around in the area.”

Watts says the City will have to look at cutting down the heritage trees nearby, “There’s that huge growth of heritage trees that if they were taken down the sight lines would improve, it would open the area up.

And that’s something we’re going to have to revisit again because I know many, many members of the community and environmental groups did not want that growth of trees taken down. So we’re going to have to revisit that for sure.”