In March, 2005, the City of Surrey implemented a non-traditional law enforcement response known as the Electrical Fire and Safety Initiative as one component in its efforts to address the problem of marihuana grow operations within the city. This...
Show moreIn March, 2005, the City of Surrey implemented a non-traditional law enforcement response known as the Electrical Fire and Safety Initiative as one component in its efforts to address the problem of marihuana grow operations within the city. This innovative initiative involved the City of Surrey’s Electrical Fire and Safety Investigation (EFSI) team attending to suspected grow operation locations for public safety reasons, instead of having the police to deal with them. While police supported the initiative, it was amidst concern in and outside police circles that one failing of this approach would be that grow operators dealt with by the EFSI team would escape justice because violators would not face a criminal justice system consequence. In particular, there was concern that because of the perceived lack of a deterrent effect, grow operations attended to by the EFSI team would have a greater likelihood of re-establishment than those attended to by the police. With this in mind, the purpose of this particular study was to examine whether re-establishment was greater in the case of grow operations attended by the EFSI team. The study involved looking at all incidents of marijuana cultivation coming to the attention of the Surrey RCMP over a two year period, with special attention to the impact of the initiative prior to and following the introduction of the city’s new Controlled Substances Property Bylaw. The study found that re-establishment for EFSI cases was three times (12.7 per cent) greater than for the Police (4.1 per cent). Furthermore, re-establishment for EFSI increased to one in every five cases in which no change in property ownership took place. Additionally, EFSI cases re-established faster and on a larger scale despite having less of an opportunity to do so. Importantly though, re-establishment proved to be mitigated by the Controlled Substances Property Bylaw as re-establishment dropped to 1% for police cases and to zero for EFSI cases. Accordingly, the bylaw appeared to be an important complement to the work of the EFSI team.
- Parvir Girn (author), University of the Fraser Valley School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Degree granting institution)
- School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Marijuana--British Columbia--Surrey, Marijuana industry--British Columbia--Surrey, Drug control--British Columbia--Surrey
- Research paper/project
- Student Major Papers Criminology
- University of the Fraser Valley