Anti-gang police publish first community report

CFSEU unveils profile of murder victims, warning signs for parents.

By Bob Hall, Nelson Star

It may seem like a problem that only exists on the television news with the backdrop of the Lower Mainland, but gang activity impacts the Kootenays.

Earlier this week the province’s anti-gang police unit — the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) — issued its first ever Community Report.

And though Nelson doesn’t find itself directly in the mix, the Nelson Police Department says gang problems are not only a big city issue.

“We certainly support their initiative of going out and targeting the gangs,” said Nelson Police Department Inspector Paul Burkart. “Obviously it’s a little more of a concern in the Lower Mainland with more people, more traffic and the ports. But it would be naive for us to think for a second that the dope that is grown around here is not ending up in the hands of gangs elsewhere.”

CFSEU is the integrated team of 400 officers and civilians from 14 different agencies, including RCMP and municipal police forces, that disrupt and suppress organized crime around the province.

Their investigations have cracked big cases, such as the discovery of an audacious cross-border drug-smuggling tunnel in Aldergrove and the unraveling of a massive international money-laundering ring.

The CFSEU is now out to capture a bigger public profile with the publication of its first-ever Community Report. The report can be read online at bc-anti-gang.com.

The Nelson Police Department is not intimately involved in CFSEU, but the local force works with the unit through information sharing.

“These grows that we are kicking in that are between 200 and 400 plants, these people that are growing this dope are not going out and selling it in quarter ounce baggies to their friends,” says Burkart. “This is big business and these people are selling to larger groups that are often gang related.

“The people supplying the cocaine here will have gang associations. They are getting their dope from gangs. Growers may be selling their dope to gangs and the gangs in return are selling their product here. They control the flow and people get roughed up in the Kootenays.”

For more on the CFSEU, check out their website at cfseu.bc.ca.

  • with files from Black Press reporter Jeff Nagel

 

CFSEU researchers found the vast majority of gang-related murder victims over a four-year period had previous drug charges or convictions, and often violent criminal pasts.

Most were gang members, not just associates or minor players in the drug trade, and a few were girlfriends or an innocent victim, like a man who was shot in Burnaby after picking up a Bacon brother vehicle to install a car stereo in it.

B.C. gang-related killings peaked at 36 in 2009 before dropping to 18 last year.

Victims are overwhelmingly men and their average age is 30, according to CFSEU stats.

Three-quarters of bodies are found near the victims’ homes or vehicles.

Most (85 per cent) were shot, but eight per cent were viciously beaten, six per cent were stabbed and one victim was burned to death.

Also included are key risk factors for ending up in a gang and tips for parents on spotting potential signs of gang involvement.

 

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

Trail Curling Club set for BC senior championships

Volunteers step up for BC Senior Curling championships at Trail Curling Club

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Most Read