05/20/2015 12:19 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT

Harry Bains welcomes increased funding for police, but wants action now

NDP MLA Harry Bains says the federal government's pledge to provide more resources and police to combat Surrey's growing gang problem is a step in the right direction, but he wants action to be taken immediately.

"They talk about 100 police officers which has been announced and re-announced and then re-announced over the past year. The question is, when will we get them?" said Bains, whose nephew died last month after being shot in Surrey.

"I think it's about a few years too late, but it is nonetheless the acknowledgement these resources are needed and it is a serious problem." 

Bains worries that Surrey police do not currently have the resources they need to deal with issues of a growing community.

"I think we need to deal with it and we need to deal with it now rather than keep on running and putting out bush fires," said Bains. "We need to give police more resources, more visibility, more foot patrol, more bike patrol so people can see the presence of police officers in the area that they need."

He wants municipalities including Abbotsford, Vancouver, Delta and Surrey to work together to create a comprehensive strategy so that criminals are not simply moving back and forth between cities. 

"You need to have a coordinated effort. You can't just allow them move out of Surrey to Langley," said Bains.  

"There has to be a strategy: How do we send clear messages to these gangs that you are not wanted here, you are not going to do business here because we are watching you 24 hours, we have put resources to monitor your movements, and we are going to put you in jail or run you out of town."

To hear the full interview with Harry Bains, listen to the audio labelled Surrey Crime