A video circulating online that shows a large and violent fight in a Surrey strip mall parking lot is creating concern throughout the community and prompting police to step up patrols.
The video, which was posted and shared Sunday, shows a large group of men kicking and punching each other outside Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre at 120 Street and 72 Avenue.
A majority of the video shows several men going after one man in a blue shirt, kicking him to the ground and continuing to kick him in the back. The victim then gets back up on his feet and escapes the attackers before going back towards the group.
Karen Reid Sidhu, executive director of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, said she was told the fight happened outside the Cineplex movie theatre on Saturday night.
She said she shared the video because volunteers for the society who regularly canvass the area have told her this isn’t the first time fights have broken out in that parking lot.
“This is an ongoing issue,” Reid Sidhu said.
“This is deplorable behaviour, and the individuals who were fighting were putting the public at risk. Vehicles couldn’t get through, people were coming out of the movie theatre. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt.”
Reid Sidhu said volunteers have also witnessed public drinking, dangerous driving and drug use in the same parking lot.
“We’ve witnessed young women being harassed when they go to the movie theatre, to the point where they break down in tears and don’t want to go back,” she said. “In fact, one of my staff was harassed when she was there.”
On Sunday, Reid Sidhu said she planned to bring the issue up with the shopping complex’s owner and Surrey RCMP.
Police said Monday they are investigating the fight, which wasn’t reported initially.
Surrey RCMP spokesperson Const. Richard Wright said police have seen the video and are hoping for witnesses to come forward.
“If they can identify any of the individuals that are seen taking part in the fight in the video, we would like to hear from them,” Wright said.
Wright added the mall is a “hotspot” for frontline officers who regularly patrol the area, but police will be stepping up patrols even further after this latest incident.
“We understand there are community concerns regarding the behaviour in the video,” he said. “Our officers are investigating and have spoken to a number of businesses and residents in the Newton area.”
Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial said the parking lot is known as a place where older teens hang out.
“Kids congregate there, take their cars there, play music,” he said. “It’s a concern.”
Reid Sidhu said she’s also trying to organize a community meeting to see what else can be done.
“We want to ensure public safety is paramount,” she said.
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