VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – We’ve come a long way since the gang war of 2009 and BC is now on track to record the fewest gang-related homicides in years.
Sergeant Lindsey Houghton with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says there are a few reasons for that: some criminals are behind bars, some have left the province and others are dead.
He adds investigators have noticed fewer gang-related murders during the Spring and Summer.
“We can pretty much figure out the sun goes down in the first few months and the last few months around that 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. time. It starts to get dark, the weather isn’t so good, and everyone knows that the combination of that along with the ability for rain to wash away evidence can create a perfect storm, if you will, of when these people who are looking to perpetrate this type of violence may want to take advantage of that,” explains Houghton.
There is also a trend Houghton says the CFSEU-BC finds disturbing and that’s when gang-related murders are taking place. He says most people assume it’s during the wee hours of the morning, but it’s actually the complete opposite.
“Seventy per cent of all gang-related crime happens between noon and midnight. Those are the hours where there are the most people out and about. When they [criminals] are committing these acts, a public shooting or whatever it is, they’re putting everyone at risk. But of course, we know that they use all of those people and the traffic to try and evade police. It’s much easier to get away of course when there are thousands of cars versus maybe only dozens or hundreds in the middle of the night.”
There were 13 gang-related homicides last year. So far in 2014, there have been two: Tejinder Malli was killed in Vancouver. No one has been arrested or charged in that case. Red Scorpion member Matthew Campbell was killed in Abbotsford.
Houghton explains if the low numbers stay on track, there should be about five gang-related homicides in total this year, which would be an all-time low in BC.
“Police in British Columbia and across Canada are sharing information and intelligence at an unprecedented level. We have the ability now to communicate in real-time, highly specific, analytical information that’s crunched in our databases and then shared no matter where it needs to go. That is a huge step ahead for us compared to where we were several years ago. We’re also getting a lot more proactive around enforcement,” he adds.