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Gangs recruiting children and teens, so prevention needs to start early: Councillor Linda Annis, Executive Director, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Surrey, B.C. (April 21, 2023): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis, who is also Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, said today’s contribution of $3.95 million from the federal government to the City of Surrey to develop and implement gang prevention programs is good news for Surrey families.

“Gangs are recruiting children as young as 10, so when it comes to gang prevention, we need to start early,” said Annis. “The fact is the gang lifestyle usually ends in just two ways: jail or death, so gang prevention programs really need to connect with children, teens and their families.”

Annis added that Surrey’s SAFE Program, which works with children, teens, families, and its partner organizations, is a “terrific and practical” program that includes helping parents who believe their child is at risk of being enticed into a gang. “Very few parents would even know where to turn if they thought their teenager was at risk and they were looking for help for their family,” noted Annis. “Surrey’s SAFE Program is there to help, and it’s at those grassroots where we need to fight back with gang prevention programs.”

The funding for Surrey is part of the three-year $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund announced by the federal government last year.