Crime prevention advocates want community court

A local crime prevention group agrees with the NDP’s opinion that Surrey should have its own community court.

Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains recently stated that the city “could have had a community court in place years ago had the Liberal government acted on its commitments.” Karen Reid Sidhu, executive director of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society pointed out some of the benefits of having one.

“Clearly it would speed up the [judicial] process,” said Sidhu. “And speeding up the process would enable earlier intervention.”

Sidhu also underscored the importance of community safety, which could be improved with the addition of a community court.

“Clearly the city is recommending that we move in that direction and they’ve been wanting it for many, many years,” said Sidhu. “So it’s a positive thing in their view and a positive thing in our view.”

Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell said court officials, including former Attorney General Wally Oppal, have gone on record stating that the Vancouver community court has been successful since it opened in 2008.

“No more excuses — it’s time for this government to step up and help make Surrey a safer, healthier community,” said Hammell.

Bains, Hammell and Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston will be hosting a public discussion about the future of Surrey at the Surrey Arts Centre Studio Theatre on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. 

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