B.C. gang strategy working, Bond says

B.C.'s two-year-old 'gangs and guns' strategy is working, and the province will continue to do its share to maintain it, Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond says.

Red Scorpions gang leader Jonathan Bacon leaved Abbotsford provincial court in 2008 after appearing on drug and weapons charges.

VICTORIA – B.C.’s two-year-old “gangs and guns” strategy is working, and the province will continue to do its share to maintain it, Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond says.

Bond issued a statement Tuesday after community leaders questioned whether federal funds for Kelowna’s 16-member anti-gang squad would continue beyond this fall. A similar unit was also set up in Prince George after a string of gang-related shootings in B.C., with a three-year commitment shared by the federal and provincial governments.

“Over 200 organized crime and gang members and associates have been arrested and charged with more than 400 serious offences since we brought in the gangs and guns strategy in February 2009,” Bond said.

“Since 2008-2009 our government invested B.C.’s full $53.3 million share of the Police Officer Recruitment Fund for additional policing positions dedicated to combating gun, gang and organized crime. I can assure you, the province is committed to the continuing funding of these dedicated resources.”

Kelowna was rocked Sunday by a brazen daytime shooting in the driveway of a lakefront hotel. Abbotsford gang leader Jonathan Bacon was killed and a member of the Hells Angels was seriously injured when their Porsche SUV was raked with automatic weapon fire from another vehicle.

Two women in the Porsche were also hit by gunfire, and a fifth occupant, believed to be another drug gang associate, escaped on foot.

Armed gang violence was being reported beyond Metro Vancouver by 2009. At that time, former premier Gordon Campbell announced the Kelowna and Prince George gang and weapon squads, along with $185 million to add 304 more cells to the overcrowded B.C. prison system.

That announcement included 180 spaces at a new Lower Mainland Pre-Trial Centre, which was opposed by Burnaby politicians and moved to an expansion of the existing Surrey Pretrial Centre. It also included 20 more spaces at Prince George Correctional Centre and 104 additional spaces at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge.

Later in 2009, B.C. moved to restrict the sale of body armour to law enforcement members and licensed security guards and private investigators.

Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon said in October 2009 that body armour was being used in armed robberies there. Body armour and automatic weapons were becoming popular status symbols for gang members as a way of intimidating rivals, police said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No injuries reported following propane leak in Terrace

Hwy 16 closed off, businesses evacuated as emergency crews responded

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Tough year ahead for the aluminium industry

U.S. market is still Canada’s most important

Kitselas receive $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program, open to Tsimshian and Haisla Nations

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into Northern Sentinel office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read