Policing in Surrey: A Newcomer's Guide

Policing in Surrey: A Newcomer's Guide

Introduction

This guide is intended to provide information about the police services available in Surrey, when and how to contact police and what to expect if approached or questioned by police. You will also find information on crime prevention programs and how you can play a proactive role in preventing crime in your neighbourhood. You can request additional copies in English, French, Punjabi, Chinese by emailing us at surrey_diversity@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

About the Surrey RCMP

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides federal, provincial and municipal policing to communities across Canada. In Surrey, the RCMP has been contracted to provide policing services to the City of Surrey since 1951. The RCMP is committed to ensuring Safe Homes and Safe Communities for all those who live and work in Surrey. Our goal is to work with the community to enhance the liveability of the city.

The Role of the Police

The role of the police is to keep the peace, uphold the law and work with the community to keep people safe. Police can help in situations such as:

Police officers in Surrey work in different roles such as general duty patrols, traffic services and specialized investigative services. They can be dressed in various ways, such as:

If you are unsure if someone is a police officer, you can ask to see their police identification card or badge. You can also call your local police office to verify the information.

Quick Facts about Surrey RCMP

Contact the Police

We encourage you to contact the Surrey RCMP to report all crime and suspicious activity. Reporting crime can help us identify and catch suspects, track crime trends, and know how to use our resources.

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergency: 604-599-0502

Surrey RCMP Offices:

Main Detachment
14355 57 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3X 1A9
Non-Emergency: 604-599-0502

District 1 – Whalley / City Centre
10720 King George Boulevard, Surrey, BC V3T 2X3
T: 604-502-6390

District 2 – Guildford / Fleetwood
10395 148 Street, Surrey, BC V3R 6S4
T: 604-502-6500

District 3 – Newton
7235 137 Street, Surrey, BC V3W 1A4
T: 604-502-6233

District 4 – Cloverdale/Port Kells
5732 - 176A Street, Surrey, BC V3S 4H2
T: 604-502-6266

District 5 – South Surrey
100 - 1815 152 Street, Surrey, BC V4A 9Y9
T: 604-599-7810

Call 911 – Emergency

For police, fire or medical emergencies call 911 immediately (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Examples of when to call 911:

Note on Accidental 9-1-1 Calls

We receive thousands of accidental 9-1-1 calls each year. To help us prevent some of these calls:

If you dial 9-1-1 accidentally stay on the line to talk to our operator. Otherwise we will need to call you back or respond in person. Our priority is to ensure you are safe. You will not be in trouble or get a ticket for calling by mistake but we do ask that you never hang up, always stay on the line and explain what has happened.

Call 604-599-0502 – Non Emergency

Call the non-emergency line when you need to report a crime that is not an emergency. This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Examples of a non-emergency call:

What is needed when you call police

Our telecommunications operators are highly trained to gather specific information from you through a series of questions. By staying on the line, remaining calm, and answering the questions, you can help guide our response. In an emergency, the telecommunications operators are relaying information to the police officer that is on their way to where the incident has happened.

Observe it. Report it.

If something seems unusual or out of place to you, follow your instincts and report it to police. Suspicious activity could include: someone peering into cars and windows, a stranger who looks to have no purpose for being in the neighbourhood or a car that is driving out of control.

Some of the questions the telecommunications operator will ask you are:

The operator may also ask if there is any alcohol, drugs or weapons at the scene so they can provide the information to the officers who are attending.
If you are involved in a police incident as a suspect, witness or victim, the officer will ask for the following information: your full name, date of birth, address and phone number. This information will be entered into a secured police database. Your information will not be given out to anyone else and is used as a way to identify and keep records. 

Did you Know....

Interactions with the Police

There are a number of reasons police may need to speak with you either inside your home or while out in the community. For example, police may want to:

If police attend your residence while you are home, you should answer the door. If you have cultural traditions that you want the officer to be aware of, please let them know. Please note that a police officer that is on duty will not be able to remove their shoes when they enter a home.

Do not be afraid to ask questions if you do not understand something. If you do not speak English, you can ask a family member, friend or even a neighbour to help you. If nobody is around, the officer will do his or her best to find someone to assist in your preferred language.

Police officers can enter your home when:

While Driving

Police have the authority to stop a vehicle at any time to check for driving infractions or other violations. A police officer will indicate you are being pulled over by signalling to you from the road or their police vehicle through hand signals or use of lights, sirens or loud speaker.

To ensure everyone’s safety when stopped by police, you should:

Did you know that it is a traffic offense to...

What happens if you are Detained or Arrested by the Police?

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms you have rights if you are arrested or detained by police. These rights include:

Youth under the age of 18 have additional rights under the Young Offender Act, one of which is the right to speak with a parent or guardian.

A police officer has the right to detain you if they believe you are somehow connected to a crime that has occurred. Usually, they will use this time to further investigate the situation and ask questions. When you are under arrest for a crime, the police officer can search you, anything you are carrying and your vehicle if it is around the time you are arrested. They do this search to ensure everyone’s safety, to find evidence and protect it from being destroyed.

What is a...

Questions or Concerns

If you have questions, concerns or complaints about your interactions with police you have the right to voice them.

You can contact the Surrey RCMP to discuss your concerns by:

If you do not want to contact the Surrey RCMP directly but still have concerns about your interactions with police, you can also contact the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP:

Crime Prevention and Victims Services

The Surrey RCMP strongly encourages residents to play a role in preventing crime by participating in programs like Block Watch.

Block Watch is a program to help neighbours watch out for neighbours. It aims to get citizens involved in discouraging and preventing crime. To learn more about the program, please contact your local district office.

Crime Free Multi-Housing

If you are renting an apartment, your building may already be part of the Crime Free Multi Housing program which helps owners, managers and residents keep illegal and nuisance activity off rental properties. You can contact the coordinator via phone 604-599-7747.

Victim Services

If you are a victim of a crime, you can contact our Victim Services Department at 604-599-7600. Case workers can provide emotional support , updates on police/court files, referrals for further services or information on how the criminal justice system works. 

Police Information Checks and Fingerprinting

If you live in Surrey and require a police information check for employment, volunteering or school you can visit our Main Detachment or District 2: Guildford/Fleetwood office to have it completed. Please bring with you:

Note: If you require fingerprinting services for immigration purposes please bring a letter or form from the Immigration Department setting out what the requirements are, along with identification. 

Volunteer and Career Opportunities

Interested in working with the Surrey RCMP? We have many opportunities to gain work experience as a volunteer, municipal employee or police officer.

Volunteer

District Office Volunteers

District Office Volunteers assist with many administrative and front counter services. They also participate in crime prevention programs such as Block Watch. Contact your local District office for more information.

Auxiliary Program

Auxiliaries are uniformed volunteers who participate in community policing activities, on an unarmed basis and under the supervision of the Surrey RCMP. They assist with community-based policing and crime prevention, and may also assist officers under other circumstances. For further information on the program contact: 604-507-5984.

Restorative Justice Program

The Restorative Justice Program is a volunteer based program that supports youth by encouraging them to understand the effects of the crime they have committed and provides an opportunity to make it better. As a volunteer, you would assist in organizing and facilitating meetings between offenders and victim and mentor. For further information on the program contact: 604-502-6285.

Employment

Become a Police Officer

If you want to make a difference in your community and your country, explore what the RCMP has to offer. Having a diverse group of officers is important in order to understand cultural issues and have a balanced approach to problem solving.

To apply for the RCMP you must meet a list of requirements and be willing to spend 6 months at the RCMP Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. For the complete list of requirements and upcoming recruiting events, please visit: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

RCMP Support Services

The City of Surrey offers a number of exciting career opportunities in support of the Surrey RCMP, including positions in Operational Communications, Cell Block Operations, Records management, Victim Services, Information Technology and more. For further information, please visit: http://www.surrey.ca/city-government/599.aspx.

Personal Safety Tips

Remembering some basic safety tips can help prevent a crime from happening or help you respond to the situation accordingly. A simple but effective tip is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Trust your instincts and if something doesn’t feel right remove yourself from the situation or contact police.

Our district offices can offer further resources and brochures on how to protect yourself, or visit the Protect Yourself section of our website.

Street Robbery

If you are approached, verbally threatened or physically assaulted you can avoid further confrontation by giving the person whatever property they want – this could include your cell phone, wallet, hat etc. Do not argue or try to fight back as this could make the situation worse.

Additional safety precautions you can take are:

Auto Crime

Auto Crime include both theft of your vehicle and theft from your vehicle. Many of these cases can be prevented by:

Home Security

Taking some basic Home Security measures at home can minimize your chances of being targeted by thieves. Some tips include: 

It is important to make your home appear lived in as thieves target empty homes. This can be as simple as making sure that there is not a pile of newspapers sitting outside your door. Also, if you are planning on leaving your home for a long time, check in with your insurance company as they may require someone to check your home while you are gone to ensure you are still covered.
 

Pedestrian and Road Safety

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all have a responsibility to share the road and follow the law. 

Pedestrian should stay on sidewalks and cross at designated cross walks. Dress in bright or reflective clothing to be seen especially in poor weather or at night. If you are walking and listening to music, try not to put both headphones in your ear or have it is on maximum volume in order to remain alert about your surroundings.

Cyclists must follow the rules of the road and wear a helmet. You should also make sure if your bicycle is in good working order before you ride it.

Drivers should be aware of the rules of the road, as outlined in the Motor Vehicle Act. This includes abiding by posted speed limits, ensuring your vehicle is safe to drive, and that all passengers are safely secured with seat belts. Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is illegal and could result in an arrest, fine or jail time.

Did you know...

Keeping Your Children Safe

There are many things you, as parents, can do to help keep your children safe.

  1. Communicate – Ask your children how they are feeling, what is going on in school and who their friends are. It is okay to ask to meet their friends’ parents.
  2. Get Involved - Be aware of what they are doing and show that you are interested in activities they are involved with.
  3. Enrol them in sports and/other activities that they may be interested in.

There are many free recreational activities through the City of Surrey. You can visit www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation for a copy of the recreation guide to learn about programs near your home.

There are also many volunteer opportunities for youth through the City of Surrey, visit http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/483.aspx for more details.

Missing Persons

If a child, friend or relative goes missing you should contact police. You do not have to wait a certain time period to report someone missing. The police will gather information from you about the missing person and their usual habits. Police will ask for a photo and any other information that could help to locate the missing person.

If you are attending a large event with children make a safety plan beforehand on what to do if you get separated. This could involve arranging a common meeting place or letting children know they can ask an authority figure such as a police officer for assistance.

Domestic Violence

Violence in the home can be in the form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen in any relationship and affects people regardless of gender, age, or ethnic origin. Domestic violence is not a private or family matter, it is against the law. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence there is help available. You can contact police, Surrey RCMP Victim Services at 604-599-7600 or VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 as they can provide assistance in many different languages.

Bullying

Bullying is when someone intentionally does or says something to hurt another person. This behavior is often repetitive and deliberate. Bullying can be: physical (hitting, shoving), verbal (insults, teasing), social (exlusion, rumours) or cyber (online, social media).

General Tips to Prevent Bullying

Internet Safety

The internet is used by more and more people and has become a part of our daily lives. It is easily accessible through computers within the home, school, library and cell phones. As parents, you can play a role in making sure your children use the internet in a safe manner. Some concerns can include: inappropriate material, bullying, harassment or frauds/scams.

Tips:

Gangs

A gang is an organized group that commits a crime in order to gain money, power and or recognition. Youth can join gangs regardless of their ethnic origin or financial situation.

Signs that someone you know could be getting involved include:

Drugs

As a parent, it is important to educate your children on the harmful effects drug can have. The best way to do this is to educate yourself first. Education and awareness is key to prevention.

Did you know...

Other Resources

 

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