Damning survey results from businesses in Surrey’s city centre area.
A 62-page “Safety Audit” of 205 business owners by the downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association has found most aren’t feeling safe.
The document, produced by the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association uncovered a “significant sense of pessimism on the part of businesses as compared to last year.”
The top concern among business owners? Drug users.
Businesses’ top four concerns are: drug users, theft, drug dealing and discarded needles.
They’re also critical of the RCMP saying the bike patrol is less visible.
Bob Dominick is chair of the downtown Surrey BIA.
“I’m not overly surprised by it but it causes us a great deal of concern.”
He says growing street disorder in the area is also leading to an increase in fear.
“One of the things that’s happening in downtown Surrey right now is quite an overwhelming amount of homeless people and they are far more vulnerable than most people to crime unfortunately.”
Not the whole story
But the City of Surrey says the audit doesn’t paint a complete picture.
Councillor Barbara Steele says the information is helpful but the facts can be misinterpreted depending on what media picks up.
“It is a problem as far as what people’s perception may be, but the facts are a little different. I mean, the one area that is of such concern is the 135A Street Area.”
While the audit also reports businesses say RCMP Bike patrol is less visible, Steele says police presence has ramped up the last couple months especially on the Whalley Strip.
Steele adds the city will be working very close with the BIA to make improvements.
Read the whole safety audit