A loud late-night gathering of more than 400 youths Thursday in Crescent Beach has at least one neighbour calling for increased police patrols and bylaw enforcement in relation to the “mob” party, while noting the occurrences are increasing in regularity this summer.
The gathering began in the late evening at Blackie Spit Park, said one neighbour – whose home borders the public park – and police and fire crews arrived at about 9:30 p.m. to put out some beach fires that had been lit. The crowd was dispersed, the neighbour noted, but the raucous crowd simply moved and “turned the pier, Blackie Spit and residents’ property in their party spot.”
“It was startling. There were fights, property was damaged, (there were) drunk minors, fireworks,” the neighbour said.
Surrey RCMP confirmed to Peace Arch News that officers responded to the “large crowd of youths” and dispersed the crowd, though no arrests were made “as there were more than 400 youths.”
Surrey RCMP Const. Sarbjit Sangha said that the RCMP’s Mobile Enforcement Team and Community Response Unit would be doing regular patrols of the area to prevent future large gatherings.
The neighbour noted that Thursday’s incident was the third such gathering at the beach since July 1.
“Almost every other night there continues to be large groups using the park as their backyard party spot. Drinking, drugs, pollution, disturbance to residence, property damage, reckless driving, illegal parking,” he said.
“It is evident the public know this is a scarcely patrolled area. In no other region of B.C. would this be tolerated.”
Semiahmoo Peninsula beaches often see increased noise and commotion during the summer months – last month, White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls acknowledged that it is problematic.
However, the idea that neighbours “have to expect” increased noise, crowds and rowdiness in the summer doesn’t sit well with the complainant, who emailed his account of the gathering to City of Surrey staff and council members in addition to contacting PAN.
The park is closed at 10 p.m, there is no drinking allowed anytime. How can this not be enforced? These youths’ backpacks and their cars are filled with alcohol. Then they drive away while under the influence,” he wrote.
“We are taxpayers, and business owners in Surrey and we insist on reasonable peace, enjoyment and safety in our community.
“We urge you to adapt regular patrols, and there needs to be a 10 p.m. shutdown routine. This was done during early COVID and it minimized this situation. Can (the city’s bylaw department) take a larger role? There must be some action that can be taken to reduce this nuisance.”