Surrey RCMP say three people have been deported in connection to a brawl caught on video in a Newton strip mall in August.
“As a result of the investigation into the August incident in Strawberry Hills, three individuals have been deported from Canada, and the status of three other individuals is currently being reviewed,” according to a Surrey RCMP release Tuesday afternoon.
The news comes after a second video of a brawl surfaced on social media last week, this time in another Newton parking lot during the early morning hours of Remembrance Day. Police are investigating this video as an assault with a weapon. Footage from the incident shows people hitting a vehicle with what appear to be golf clubs near 70th Avenue and 128th Street.
Surrey RCMP says since March its Community Response Unit (CRU) has been “engaged in an enforcement project in the Strawberry Hills area to specifically address public safety concerns related to youths and young adults congregating in the area and generating complaints of harassment, public intoxication, and fights.”
Police say this “on-going project” has included an overt presence of frontline and CRU officers, as well as regular patrols by Traffic Services and the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team. Police say they’ve also engaged business owners and property managers to share safety strategies, such as traffic calming measures and private security.
While there has been speculation in the public that these types of incidents involve international students, Corporal Elenore Sturko told the Now-Leader “they don’t all involve international students, but some have been.”
“We want to remind people that if you’re here visiting and you participate in criminal activity you could be removed from Canada. Whether it’s a student visa, a work visa, there are very serious consequences to criminal activity,” she said.
Surrey RCMP says its Diversity & Indigenous Peoples Unit is “engaging with local international student associations with the goal of providing education and prevention information to students to ensure they stay safe” during their time in Canada.
“We want to assure the community that our Community Response Unit has been actively engaged in this issue for the past eight months. While these incidents involving groups of youth are somewhat isolated, we are dealing with those responsible for these disturbances, and working to prevent further incidents from happening,” said Superintendent Shawn Gill, Community Services Officer. “We encourage residents and business owners to report these types of incidents and videos directly to police so we can work with the community to address these in a comprehensive manner.”
After the Nov. 11 brawl, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum issued a statement decrying the “repugnant” behaviour of the young men in video.
“I am deeply concerned that this kind of mob violence is happening with alarming frequency,” the statement read, also calling on the RCMP to take “immediate and strong action to get a handle on this kind of mob violence.”
The grassroots anti-gang group Wake Up Surrey also issued a statement about the incident, saying it has received the video showing “horrific mob type violence.”
Surrey RCMP say the investigation into the Nov. 11 incident is ongoing.
Investigators are asking anyone information to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or, to make an anonymous report, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or solvecrime.ca.