British Columbia

Gangsters should pay their own medical bills, says Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner

Following a weekend of more gang-related shootings in the B.C. city, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says she wants the power to force gangsters to pay their own medical bills.

Mayor of Surrey looking to invoke civil forfeiture legislation to cover medical bills

Mayor of Surrey Linda Hepner says gangsters who refuse to co-operate with police should pay their own medical bills. (Jesse Johnston/Twitter)

Following a weekend of more gang-related shootings in the B.C. city, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner says she wants the power to force gangsters to pay their own medical bills.

Hepner said Monday that known gangsters who are shot, but refuse to co-operate with the police, should be held liable for their own medical costs.

She also said she will be talking to B.C.'s attorney general to see if the current civil forfeiture legislation could be employed in this way.

'Low-level drug trade war'

Police have released a photograph of one of the victims from a shooting on Saturday night in the 18600 block of Highway 10 who, they say, is being "very uncooperative."
Police say Ravinder Samra, 28, (seen in the white cap) is refusing to co-operate after being the victim of a shooting in Surrey, B.C. (Surrey RCMP)

Ravinder Samra, 28, was previously a victim of what police are terming a "low-level drug trade war" and continues to refuse to co-operate, police said.

Samra and another man received non-life threatening injuries in the incident. The image released shows Samra at the Cactus Club in Langley just before the shooting.

Police say two men shot on Friday in a home on the 5700 block of 152nd Street are also expected to make a full recovery. The owner of the home is known to police and the shooting is not considered to be a random event.

'Bullets fell from the sky'

In April, Surrey RCMP released the names and photographs of men they alleged were contributing to a recent spate of gun violence in the city.

Most of the men named were described as victims of shootings who were refusing to co-operate with police.

Despite community involvement and overt and covert enforcement tactics, police say one of their biggest problems in tackling the violence is a lack of co-operation from the individuals who have been shot.

At the time the men were identified, Chief Supt. Bill Fordy provided a list of some of their responses, including:

"The bullets fell from the sky."
"I will take care of it myself."
"Don't you worry about it ... no need for you cops to be here."

He said one of the victims even admitted to knowing who did the shooting and the motive, but refused to tell police.

With files from Jesse Johnston


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