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BC gang activity wilting under police heat

Aug 29, 2012

from the article by Robert Freeman in the Chilliwak Progress:

Gang activity in B.C. has wilted under the heat of Lower Mainland police forces, including the Chilliwack RCMP, says UFV criminologist Darryl Plecas.

While the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit has put a “significant dent” in gang leadership, according to CFSEU spokesman Sgt. Bill Whelan, Plecas said “proactive” policing by municipal police forces like those in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and West Vancouver has given new recruits second thoughts about the gang lifestyle.

“They are non-stop in their face,” Plecas said, about how police forces are using “sophisticated analytics” and intelligence software to keep tabs on offenders and to discourage them from a life of crime.

....That’s where Chilliwack’s restorative justice program — also highly praised by Plecas - comes into play.

Young, first-time offenders of non-violent crimes meet their victims through the program, make apologies, pay restitution and perform community service work instead of going to court.

Fewer repeat crimes after the restorative justice experience than those who go court.

“Chilliwack’s restorative justice is as good as it gets,” Plecas said.

But he called for an expanded program — and more funding — to include more adults and those accused of serious crimes.

Plecas said the way to continue holding the gangs at bay is to maintain funding, but there is talk of cutbacks now that murders on B.C. streets have waned and gang leaders are behind bars.

“If we were really smart, we wouldn’t be doing that,” he warned.

Maintaining police funding now will save the government money, he said, and continue winning the war on crime.

“It always comes back to the same issue — committing the resources,” he said.

Read the whole article.

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Maggie Aronoff
Maggie Aronoff says:
Nov 12, 2012 08:56 PM

The efforts of our police have been tremendous. Here in Abbotsford, community services will be launching a partnership with the school district, the police and the John Howard Society of the Fraser Valley to create a comprehensive and proactive response to the problem of gangs. Stay tuned for more news as this project progresses.

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