Categories: Home2News

B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

The latest round of gang revenge shootings in Metro Vancouver has resulted in arrests in Surrey and Burnaby, and police need information on the participants to make more progress, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Recent brazen shootings in Surrey, Burnaby and at Vancouver International Airport are only part of gang-related violence that has seen 11 shooting incidents in Surrey alone so far in 2021. Six of those were homicides, in the latest gang crimes around the province that typically involve drug trafficking and “a series of turf wars,” Farnworth told reporters Friday.

He said there are legal limits on the ability of police and the province to “name and shame” individuals, but that would be an effective way of deterring people who have become involved in gangs.

After meeting with B.C. police chiefs this week, Farnworth reiterated that resources are not an issue, and the budget for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has increased 15 per cent in recent years. He has repeatedly clarified that traffic stops to enforce B.C.’s COVID-19 essential travel order have not affected gang investigations.

Tips on the next target, from associates and family members of gang members, are what’s needed, he said.

“These gangsters either end up jail or they end up dead,” Farnworth said. “They need to realize they are not safe anywhere.”

Teenagers have been targets or participants in recent shootings, an issue that led to creation of the long-standing police liaison program in high schools. Former gang members participate to give students an inside look at criminal organizations. Vancouver and New Westminister school boards have recently voted to get rid of the program, apparently part of a wave of anti-police sentiment that has spread from the United States.

Farnworth said B.C. has made progress, establishing its own forensic firearms lab and a witness protection program that has led to 42 convictions. Guns, the borders they cross and the drugs they protect are matters of federal law, and B.C.’s latest move this spring includes a ban on selling “low-velocity” pellet or BB guns to young people.

The Firearm Violence Prevention Act also allows B.C. police to impound vehicles used to transport firearms or flee from police, and collection of fingerprints from those applying for armoured vehicle and body armour permits.

RELATED: B.C. moves to seize vehicles carrying illegal guns

RELATED: 14-year-old boy ‘dead at the scene’ of Surrey shooting


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tom Fletcher

Share
Published by
Tom Fletcher

Recent Posts

Evacuation order rescinded for eight properties in Nk’Mip Creek area

Evacuation alert remains in place for properties in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

6 hours ago

BC Wildfire: ‘Wind is our greatest enemy’ for Okanagan fires

High temperatures but lack of wind seen as favourable to progress on wildfires

8 hours ago

First two new BC Housing buildings in Salmon Arm all but full

Building for people without permanent housing expected to open in late fall, staff needed

8 hours ago

Chase woman facing firearms charge following gunfire at Kamloops hotel

Individual sustained gunshot wound in Oct. 16, 2020 incident

8 hours ago

Vacationers welcome to Osoyoos during wildfire, says mayor

Know before you go and be prepared in the event of evacuations though

9 hours ago

B.C.’s COVID-19 daily cases jump to 150 Tuesday, mostly in Interior

Now 783 active infections province-wide as walk-in clinics gear up

9 hours ago