Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum lashed out at local Mounties and the Parole Board of Canada Friday for the decision to grant a dangerous offender day parole in the city.
In November the Parole Board of Canada granted day parole to Gary Jagur Singh, 64, a dangerous offender dubbed the “Marpole rapist” who was jailed indefinitely after committing sex offences against 11 women in Vancouver nearly 30 years ago,
A relative of one of his victims said they recently received a phone call from Victim Services of B.C. advising them that Singh would be sent to a Surrey halfway house on Jan. 9.
On Friday, McCallum called the Parole Board’s decision “infuriating,” “irresponsible,” and “troubling.”
“The Parole Board of Canada acknowledges that Singh’s sexual deviancy can never be cured. In a previous day parole, Singh breached his conditions and he has been denied full parole now, which makes his release to a halfway house in Surrey all the more irresponsible and troubling,” the mayor said Friday in a statement.
The Surrey mayor, who has been at odds with the Mounties since he was elected on a campaign promise to form a municipal police force, criticized the RCMP for a lack of transparency and demanded to know where Singh was.
“I am frustrated by the lack of information coming from the RCMP,” he said. “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. That information should be made available immediately.”
Asst. Commissioner Brian Edwards, who commands the Surrey RCMP, acknowledged the frustration of McCallum and other residents in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“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,” said Edwards.
Edwards also addressed McCallum’s demand for more transparency, saying that he personally advised the mayor about Singh on two separate occasions and provided all information the RCMP could legally give him.
“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,” he said.