Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge. (File photo)

Surrey restaurants’ new gangster-watch program launched

The Inadmissible Patrons Program ‘will make it tough for criminals to do business in our city’

Police and bar/restaurant operators in Surrey are launching an Inadmissible Patrons Program, or IPP, in an effort “to further support public safety and deter individuals who are associated to violent crime from being in Surrey.”

The goal is to prevent violent criminal activity in and around licensed establishments, “to increase overall public safety as well as the safety of restaurant/bar patrons and staff.”

The creation of the program, based on a similar one in Vancouver, follows a key recommendation in the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention Report, released in July, and the 2017 BC Task Force on Illegal Firearms.

“The Inadmissible Patrons Program is one way that business owners, the city and the RCMP will be sending a clear message to gang members that they are not welcome in Surrey,” Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, said in a release Thursday morning.

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The program, a partnership of Surrey RCMP, the City of Surrey and BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, will be launched today (Thursday) at Surrey RCMP’s main detachment, on 57th Avenue.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is quoted in a Surrey RCMP release.

“It has been made abundantly clear to me that Surrey residents want positive action on gangs and gun crimes,” McCallum stated.

“The Inadmissible Patrons Program will not only identify gang members and individuals associated with violent crime, but the program will also allow for police to remove them immediately from the premises. As seen in other jurisdictions, this program will make it tough for criminals to do business in our city.”

According to a release, the IPP will work to protect the safety of patrons, staff and the general public by giving police the legal authority, through authorization agreements and the BC Trespass Act, to remove individuals deemed as “inadmissible patrons” from participating establishments.

“An inadmissible patron is defined as a person whose lifestyle, associations and/or activities pose a risk to public safety, either directly or from third parties,” according to a release. “This includes people who are involved with or associated to organized crime, gangs, and the drug trade. Police officers will assess each situation and individual separately; outright bans will not be a part of the IPP and police will not create any lists of inadmissible patrons.”

Surrey’s new IPP is being rolled out in a “graduated approach” with eight restaurants and bars participating in the initial launch and more being added as the program grows. There are also plans to expand the IPP to major public events in Surrey and possibly other types of businesses in the future. Participating establishments will display the IPP logo in their window or other prominent location.

Licensed establishments that are interested in joining the Inadmissible Patrons Program in Surrey can email the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team at Surrey_IPP@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman said in a press release that businesses “have a lot to lose when violent criminals patron their establishments” and “business owners need to work closely with the City of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP to deter and report any signs of criminal activity, and the IPP is a crucial instrument in enhancing public safety in Surrey.”

Huberman said the board’s role in the IPP will be to act as a “communications mechanism” to its members, “and other possible roles when the time is right for the Surrey RCMP.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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