Surrey RCMP launches dedicated helpline for concerned parents

Surrey: A New helpline for parents and guardians to reach out to their local police in Surrey if they have concerns about their children becoming involved in illegal activities.

Residents can now contact the new Surrey RCMP Parent Helpline at 604-599-7800 if they believe their child is involved or at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. Through this helpline, parents can get in touch with the Surrey RCMP’s specialized youth officers and youth counsellors who will be able to assist them with resources, police information, and intervention services. Parents who call the helpline and leave a message stating their name, phone number, and concern will have their call returned within 24 hours between Monday and Friday. English, Punjabi and French staff will be available.

“Parents have concerns about their kids, especially those who may be heading towards the criminal lifestyle and at risk of being involved in the drug trade,” says Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy. “This new helpline will provide a central location for parents to obtain information relating to youth and crime and how they can best protect their children from crime.”

Last month, the Surrey RCMP hosted a community safety forum on youth, drugs and violence along with the Surrey School District and CFSEU-BC. At the conclusion of the event, two families approached officers to discuss concerns about their children being involved in drug trafficking. As a result, Surrey RCMP officers are now working with these families to intervene in criminal activities and develop plans to help the youth exit the drug trade. The new Parent Helpline will give all Surrey parents access to police officers and intervention counsellors when they believe their children are involved in the drug trade or at risk of becoming involved.

Surrey RCMP offers a number of preventative and educational youth programs including the Wrap program, Code Blue, and Youth Police Academy as well as intervention programs such as the Youth Intervention and Restorative Justice programs. They also work with many external partners including the Surrey School District and other education, health, and social service providers.

“Surrey is a growing city with a significant youth population, the majority of which are creative, smart and enthusiastic members of our community. Unfortunately our young people are also targets for drug traffickers who exploit youth and lead them on a dangerous path with potentially fatal consequences,” says Assistant Commissioner Fordy. “That is why early intervention efforts by parents, police, schools, and the community are key in preventing young people from being lured into this lifestyle.”

Residents are reminded that the Parent Helpline is not a replacement for calling the non-emergency line (604-599-0502) if they need to report a crime, or 911 for crimes in progress or life-threatening situations.

For more information on our youth programs please visit the Programs and Services page on our website.

Officer in Charge speaks about online exploitation at victim services conference

Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP, recently spoke at a conference for victim services personnel that focussed on the online exploitation of child and youth. This is a growing trend and the Surrey RCMP is encouraging parents and child/youth care workers to take an active role in educating children and themselves on how to stay safe in the online world.

The October 24th conference, entitled “Innocence Gone in Seconds: Responding to Child and Youth Exploitation”, was hosted by the Fraser Regional Training Committee in Surrey, and presented information to victim services personnel on online luring and the impacts of victimization.

C/Supt. Fordy spoke to delegates about the challenges police face with respect to the crimes that are committed online and the investigative requirements to bring forward charges against those who victimize some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“The internet is not a thing, it’s a place. It’s a place full of people doing a lot of great things, but also some extremely bad things,” said C/Supt. Fordy in his opening address. “But policing the internet, in short, is extremely difficult, as it is a place where anonymity reigns.”

On average, approximately 15% of the files investigated by the Surrey RCMP’s Youth Unit involve some aspect of social media. In addition, almost 10% of cases seen by the Surrey RCMP’s Youth Intervention Program are related to online activity.

“Young people and parents need to be aware of the heightened risks that come with using online technology and to be cognizant of what you share over the internet,” says Sergeant Neil Kennedy with the Youth Unit. “From sending explicit photos to threats and bullying, we have seen the negative impacts that these types of activities can have on both victims and perpetrators. “

The Surrey RCMP continues to highlight the importance of being online savvy through its website, social media, and school talks. There are also a number of resources available that can assist in navigating the evolving online world of smart phones, apps, websites, and photo/video sharing programs.

Tips for Parents and Child/Youth Care Workers:

  • Open dialogue – take a proactive approach to internet safety and discuss the benefits and risks of online activity. Cybertip.ca has age-appropriate resources for parents and educators.
  • Unplug – encourage time away from computers and smart phones. You set the example.
  • Stay informed – sign up for Cybertip.ca Alerts to stay informed on the latest trends.

Tips for Children/Youth:

  • Know the risks – Be cautious about the personal details you share online. Information you give online may later be used against you. People are not always who they say they are.
  • Think before you share – Once you take and share an explicit photo or video it is out of your control. There is a high chance it will be shared with others or posted online.
  • Seek help and report –If you can turn to a parent, guardian or school official, do so. Report internet-related crimes via our non-emergency number 604-599-0502. The website needhelpnow.ca can help navigate what to do if you are impacted by a photo or video that has been shared.

More information is available in the “Protect Yourself” section at www.surrey.rcmp.ca.

Teachers’ strike daycare cheques are in the mail: finance minister

The Canadian Press

VICTORIA : The cheque is in the mail says Finance Minister.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong says parents should begin getting their government payout to help cover daycare costs incurred during the recent teachers’ strike. Continue reading “Teachers’ strike daycare cheques are in the mail: finance minister”