RCMP commander responds to Mayor Doug McCallum's blast over quiet release of Marpole rapist in Surrey

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      When a federal sex offender is released and is highly likely to commit more crimes, police forces routinely issue warnings to the public.

      But in the case of the so-called Marpole rapist, Gary Singh, no such warning was issued when he was granted day parole in Surrey.

      Singh was designated as a dangerous offender in 1994 after committing sex crimes against 11 women overe more than three-and-a-half years from 1988 to 1991.

      Surrey's mayor, Doug McCallum, subsequently issued a statement declaring that it was "not only disturbing but infuriating to the people of Surrey" that Singh was being released in his city.

      He also expressed frustration about the lack of information coming from the Surrey Mounties.

      "For the safety of the people of Surrey, I believe that our residents need to be told where this prolific sexual predator is residing in Surrey," McCallum declared. "That information should be made available immediately."

      That prompted the following written statement by Assistant RCMP Commissioner Brian Edwards, who heads the Surrey detachment:

      "I acknowledge the frustration expressed by Mayor McCallum in the news release he issued today (January 10, 2020) regarding the release of a dangerous offender into Surrey. While the Surrey RCMP share many of these concerns, it is important to recognize there is a significant process in place by the Parole Board of Canada to determine if and when an offender can be released into the community and the conditions they are put under. 

      "When the Surrey RCMP were notified of this individual’s release into Surrey, we conducted our own assessment that included the fulsome decision made by Parole Board of Canada. Unfortunately, the threshold for a Public Interest Disclosure was not met in this situation for a variety of reasons including whether the individual posed an imminent threat, the recommended conditions, and the strong release plan approved by the Parole Board. However, we are aware of the significant conditions in place for this individual, including electronic monitoring, and we will be monitoring this individual, along with Correctional Service Canada.

      "I personally advised Mayor McCallum of the situation on two separate occasions and provided him the information that could legally be provided to him regarding this situation. While I acknowledge that the limited information that the police are able to provide in these cases can cause frustration, we have a legal obligation to balance the privacy of individuals and the risk to public safety. Police can only breach that privacy under the strictest of circumstances and, in this situation, that threshold was not reached. 

      "I share the public’s concern on this matter. I can assure the residents of Surrey that the correct processes were followed in this situation, and that we have a team specifically assigned to monitoring these type of offenders to ensure they do not breach their conditions or impact public safety in any manner."