Police too slow to respond: Indo-Canadian activist

Toronto, Sep 20 (IANS) An Indo-Canadian community activist has accused the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of responding late to the calls on its non-emergency line.

Activist Meera Gill was speaking in connection with the three shootings in one week in Surrey recently, including the shooting between two groups outside an elementary school.

“They (parents) call non-emergency. What’s the response time? Maybe there’s going to be a quick call within 10-15 hours but then the response time is going to be three weeks,” the Link newspaper quoted Gill as saying on Saturday.

“Can you imagine — three weeks — how much could go wrong, when there could be four shootings in 19 hours? It’s scary, it’s scary for every parent,” she said.

The Tuesday night shooting outside the Strawberry Hill Elementary School in Surrey was a confrontation between two groups. The groups fired multiple shots, wounding a 22-year-old man and leaving bullet holes on the school property.

Surrey School District Supervisor Doug Strachan said: “The chance of hurting someone, particularly in the school grounds where there’s playgrounds, is outrageous.”

Gill said the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police know which individuals were involved in the violence and more should be done to monitor them.

The Surrey RCMP has rebuffed the allegations.

“We understand citizens are frustrated that we have not made arrests for the shootings,” investigative services officer Manny Mann said.

“While our intelligence has identified persons involved in these shootings, we cannot make arrests without sufficient evidence to support a charge,” he added.

“In order to do that, we need those who are involved and their friends and family to tell us what they know — this lack of cooperation has been a significant hindrance to our investigations,” he noted.

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