The Province, anti-gang units and local police continue to make progress with work underway on B.C.’s nearly $30-million Guns and Gangs Strategy, launched in April 2016.
Key measures of the strategy now completed:
- Development of an integrated community-safety initiative and Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Community Safety Model to strengthen collaboration between police, justice, health, social service, First Nations and community stakeholders. The model also includes the development of a Cariboo-Chilcotin WRAP program for at-risk or gang-involved youth: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PSSG0126-001155 https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PSSG0015-000272
- An Illegal Firearms Taskforce has been established and has hit the ground running, conducting roundtables throughout the province to hear from communities on ways to strengthen and better use provincial and federal programs related to illegal firearms: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PSSG0198-001813
- Launch of a $1-million, two-year Gang Exit Pilot Program focused on addressing the circumstances that led to gang involvement and centered on meaningful employment as a way out of gang life. The program has already begun to accept its first clients: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PSSG0224-002242
- Continued End Gang Life campaign school presentations and outreach. To date, more than 20,000 students have seen the presentation, including every middle- and high-school student in Nanaimo and Kelowna: http://www.cfseu.bc.ca/homepage-politics/end-gang-life/
- The Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priority (PTEP) received $2-million in funding and a further $1.5 million committed for each of the next two years to maximize cross-policing intelligence systems and police efforts to pinpoint and disrupt gang and criminal networks.
- A provincewide gun amnesty was held during October. In all, 1,184 firearms were turned in, including various related items, such as holsters, explosives, non-firearms weapons and firearms replicas, as well as thousands of rounds of miscellaneous ammunitions: https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/bc-gun-amnesty-nets-1184-unwanted-firearms
- Crown counsel work to dedicate two full-time Surrey prosecutors and a paralegal to prioritize cases linked to guns and gangs.
- Creation of two new 10-person gang suppression teams, supported by $3.5 million in additional funding for 2016-17, $3 million for 2017-18 and $3 million for 2018-19.
Guns and Gangs Strategy actions ongoing and underway:
- Staffing of the new Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach.
- Illegal Firearms Task Force work to develop recommendations to inform government.
- Development of a Crime Stoppers public awareness campaign.
Significant local enforcement announcements since the February 2017 update include (for a complete list of actions from April 2016 until now, please review previous monthly Guns and Gangs Strategy updates):
- New Westminster Police Department seize $25,000 worth of street drugs and arrest three people: http://www.nwpolice.org/blog/2017/03/14/three-people-arrested-25000-drugs-seized/
- Kelowna RCMP seize illegal drugs from driver passed out behind the wheel: http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2087&languageId=1&contentId=50269
- RCMP Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Response Team (CLEAR) shuts down sophisticated drug lab operating near Rock Creek: http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2087&languageId=1&contentId=50294
- Comox Valley RCMP Drug Section targets trafficking: http://comoxvalley.bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2087&languageId=1&contentId=50246
- Search warrant yields drugs and cash for Kelowna RCMP: http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2087&languageId=1&contentId=50219
Cross-government and community actions that support the Guns and Gangs Strategy completed since the February 2017 update include (for a complete list of actions from April 2016 until now, please review previous monthly Guns and Gangs Strategy updates):
- Kamloops RCMP host a drug information session focused on how to keep teenagers safe from drugs and a criminal lifestyle – March 6, 2017.
- The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) Community Outreach and Gang Intervention team bring together community leaders, parents and youth to a community safety meeting in Abbotsford – March 4, 2017.
Ongoing local efforts to engage and inform parents and community members:
- CFSEU-BC’s End Gang Life school presentations – a provincewide anti-gang prevention campaign consisting of short videos, posters and radio public-service announcements. To date, CFSEU-BC has presented the campaign to over 20,000 students, including every middle- and high-school student in Nanaimo and Kelowna:cfseu.bc.ca/end-gang-life/
- Led by CFSEU-BC with support from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the $1-million, two-year Gang Exit Pilot supports gang-entrenched adults who are serious about making a change: http://www.cfseu.bc.ca/end-gang-life/b-c-gang-exit-pilot/
- The Surrey Wrap Around Safe Schools Program, in partnership with the Surrey School District, Surrey RCMP and the City of Surrey, to help keep at-risk youth out of the gang and criminal lifestyle – with about 100 B.C. youths participating: http://surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=73&languageId=1&contentId=8915
- The ‘Understanding Youth & Gangs - A Parents Resource’ booklet is available in English, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Tagalog, Somali, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Spanish; soon, it also will be available in Farsi and Hindi: cfseu.bc.ca/end-gang-life/end-gang-life-multilingual-booklets/
- The Surrey RCMP Parent Helpline at 604 599-7800 is available to parents who are concerned about their children becoming involved in illegal activities: http://surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=1484&languageId=1&contentId=46508
To review previous monthly Guns and Gangs Strategy updates or our factsheet on the Guns and Gangs Strategy, please visit the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General newsroom at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/public-safety-and-solicitor-general