The scene of a shooting in Surrey this summer. (Black Press file photo)

Province gives $500K to anti-gang program in Surrey

NDP follows through on promised funding to the Surrey Wraparound program that targets at-risk youth

The new NDP government has followed through on its promise to provide $500,000 for Surrey’s Wraparound anti-gang program.

The funding was part of the party’s commitment along the campaign trail in an effort to reduce gang violence.

There are currently 97 students in the Wrap program, which was launched in 2009, with another 35 students awaiting entry.

It’s said the new funding will eliminate the backlog of the youth program, which involves police working with the school district to identify and intervene with children ages 11 to 17 at risk of joining gangs.

“Wrap is a successful program that identifies at-risk youth to help keep them out of gangs in the first place. It should have stable and secure funding, not waitlists,” Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said in a release.

“People want to feel safe where they live and know their child won’t be lost to the dead-end path of gang life,” he added. “It’s time to target gang violence in our neighbourhoods head-on. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”

The government says evaluation of the Wrap program — which involves counselling, mentoring, recreational activities, mental health support and more — has shown a 67 per cent decline in the negative police contacts of participants.

In March, when Premier John Horgan was campaigning and promised this funding, then Liberal MLA Amrik Virk said it’s “appropriate for the public to get a fulsome picture.”

The Wraparound program, he said, helped more than 500 students under his government’s watch. He accused Horgan of pulling “numbers out of the air, pre-emptive of grants that are imminent” from the Liberal government.

“Mimicry is the best form of flattery,” Virk said at the time.

Virk said his government has spent $64 million annually on a “full suite” of anti-gang enforcement in B.C., featuring the Gang Exit Program and End Gang Life Program, which he said has to date reached 20,000 students.

Virk expressed pride that Wraparound is funded through the proceeds of property seized from gangsters.

B.C. has provided $535,000 to the Surrey Wrap program since 2009, mostly through civil forfeiture grants.

The Surrey Wrap project has received the bulk of its support from Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy: $880,000 between 2008 and 2011, $500,000 from 2011 to 2013 and $3.5 million from 2015 to 2020.

Meantime, the provincial government says it is also taking action on gun and gang violence by working in partnership to implement the Surrey Accord, reviewing recommendations from the Illegal Firearms Task Force, seeking to “further support” police efforts to disrupt the illegal drug chain and pushing the federal government for increased penalties for dealers.

The NDP government also vows to push the federal government to bolster B.C.’s federal RCMP complement, and pursue the province’s share of the $100 million in funding the federal government announced as part of its plan to help with guns and gangs.

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

Aldergrove seniors centre invites new members to join

Aldergrove Veterans and Seniors Society has been serving senior citizens and guests since 1980

Crime Roundup: Suspects flee nail salon, thief steals Gucci watch

The RCMP is seeking help identifying suspects in recent crimes.

Unstable soil means more studies, drawings needed for Cloverdale Arena

The added geotechnical work and designs won’t put a delay on proceedings, City says

Union files human rights complaint over Chilliwack school trustee’s LGBTQ comments

Board and trustee Barry Neufled facing $50,000 tribunal charge over alleged ‘unsafe work environment’

Changes to museums, housing possible for Fort Langley

A new Township proposal is expected to go public this week.

More than 2,000 people left without power in Surrey after truck hits power pole

BC Hydro works to restore power after crash at Fraser Highway and 184th Street

Pipeline routing through Chilliwack subject of NEB hearing Monday

City of Chilliwack, WaterWealth Project and local Sto:lo intervenors in the hearing

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Fraser Valley truck driver killed in Alberta semi truck crash

Young driver was adjusting load on side of highway to Fort McMurray

Drivers urged to slow down during Alex Fraser Bridge construction

Work crews are installing a snow removal system and movable counterflow lane

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Most Read