The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is installing more video surveillance cameras in west Abbotsford as an ongoing deterrent to criminal activity.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the APD recently purchased an additional six cameras, with most of them slated to go up by the end of this week or early next week.
He said there will likely be eight cameras in total monitoring the Townline Hill area – specifically, Mt. Lehman, Clearbrook, Blueridge and Maclure roads – not only to gather evidence should a crime occur but to prevent such activity from happening altogether.
Two such cameras were first installed in the summer of 2014, a few months after police reported that an ongoing conflict had been taking place among two groups of young men in west Abbotsford.
A third camera was added this August on Sandpiper Drive following two gang-related drive-by shootings on the street just 11 days apart.
In one of those incidents, a 23-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his leg.
Ongoing violence led to the fatal shooting on Sept. 2 of innocent man Ping Shu Ao, who was struck by a stray bullet intended for a person living next door to him on Promontory Court.
MacDonald said residents have continued to express their concerns about the gang conflict and the safety of the community.
“The APD has received overwhelming support for the installation of additional cameras through discussions at public meetings and from direct communication with citizens in the neighbourhood,” he said.
Signs have been posted advising people that many public spots in the Townline Hill area are now under video surveillance.
MacDonald said he didn’t know the exact cost of purchasing the cameras, or the ongoing costs related to monitoring and maintaining the equipment, but said it is “relatively low” compared to the millions of dollars invested in a murder investigation, which police hope the cameras prevent.
He said police are continuing to encourage citizens to report any suspicious activity by calling 911, the non-emergency line (604-859-5225), or by texting abbypd (222973).
People with information about gang activity and other criminal behaviour should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the APD tip line at 604-864-4777.