Surrey RCMP announced Tuesday that three visiting residents have been deported from the country, and three others are undergoing a status review related to a violent incident in Newton that was caught on video and shared widely online.
The fight in the Strawberry Hills neighbourhood in August was followed by a similar violent incident on November 11 that was also caught on video and hence described by Mayor Doug McCallum as “mob violence.”
The two incidents have highlighted a growing number of safety concerns and complaints expressed by local residents regarding groups of youth and young adults in the area. Many, but not all, are on visiting, work or student visas and are engaging in harassment, mischief, public drinking and assaults, according to police.
Cpl. Elenore Sturko said she had no details as to the ground for which the three individuals were deported. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has not responded to requests for information from Glacier Media.
Sturko alluded to criminal activity being a factor in the deportation, although she did not confirm any charges had been laid. She said police have stepped up enforcement in the area since March, and when a suspect is identified as a visa holder, police refer the incident to CBSA.
“While not all of these incidents involve international students, law enforcement officials want to remind individuals who are visiting Canada on a visa that any engagement in criminal activity violates the condition of their visa and they could be removed from Canada as a result,” stated the RCMP news release.
A total of 50 individuals connected to the groups have been investigated. Police claim to have engaged three special units to the problem: the Business Engagement and Safety Team; the Community Response Unit; and the Diversity and Indigenous Peoples Unit.
The latter 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.”
Business owners have been vocal about the disturbances, according to Superintendent Shawn Gill, a 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,” Gill said in a statement.