Premier John Horgan takes aim at gang violence in the Lower Mainland

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Premier John Horgan along with Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has announced steps against gang violence.

Speaking in Surrey this morning, Horgan announced funding for the popular Surrey Wraparound program, which targets at-risk youth.

“Our government made the commitment to tackle gang violence, to take gun violence out of our community.  Today the BC government is going to deliver on that commitment by ensuring that there is 500-thousand dollars annually for stable, secure funding for the Surrey Wraparound program to help keep kids at risk out of the gang lifestyle.”

As the number of gang-related violent incidents continues to rise in the Lower Mainland, Horgan says these types of programs can be life-changing.

“The Wrap program provides an opportunity for kids here in Surrey. In this case, it is preventing gun violence, gang lifestyle by ensuring that there are mentors, there are people in place who can help those kids at risk. School is the best place to find them.”

Horgan adds it’s apparent there is a gang problem in the Lower Mainland, and in order to adequately address the issue, the partnership is needed from all levels of government.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner praised Horgan for the move, saying it is vital to have resources to stop at-risk youth from entering gang lifestyles.

The Surrey Wrap Program has received 600 referrals and helped 300 families over the years. The program helps at-risk youth aged as young as 11-years-old and can help in reducing participants’ negative police contacts by two-thirds.