A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Meeting police chance to get sense of ‘frustrating’ gang violence situation: minister

Mike Farnworth met with police representatives Thursday following a recent spate of shootings

British Columbia’s solicitor general says a meeting with representatives from police agencies is an opportunity to get a full sense of the “intolerable” situation facing Lower Mainland communities amid a gang conflict.

Mike Farnworth met with police representatives Thursday following a recent spate of shootings that have left gang members dead or injured on streets, in mall parking lots and at Vancouver’s airport.

At a news conference earlier in the day, Farnworth said the meeting would be a chance to hear about how the different law enforcement agencies are working together.

“It’s also an opportunity to identify any potential gaps,” he said.

“Police said it’s not about resources so I also want to make sure there’s not any other areas we need to be focusing on.”

The public needs to know that “every tool and every resource” is brought to bear on this recent upsurge in gang violence, he said.

“The police are doing everything we can,” Farnworth said. “The message to the public is that we are all focused on this.”

Supt. Dave Chauhan, officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said this week that there could be many reasons for the conflict, including personal vendettas or drugs and territorial disputes.

The police are seeing more young people forming gangs and there are splinter groups from those leading to multiple ones, he said.

Premier John Horgan said this week the government wants to make sure they’re “focused like a laser” on addressing criminality.

“The first order of business of course is to stop the flow of young people into the gang lifestyle,” he said Tuesday.

“But clearly the brazen nature of the violence we’ve seen over the past two weeks requires law enforcement intervention.”

The comments come after a 28-year-old gang member was killed outside the departure terminal at Vancouver’s airport on Sunday. Someone in the getaway vehicle later fired shots and hit a pursuing police cruiser.

Police announced on Monday that Ahmed Tahir has been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting in Burnaby on Saturday that left Toni Dalipi, 19, dead and injured the bystander.

An expert on gangs said the very public nature of the recent series of shootings in Metro Vancouver may be attributed to COVID-19 restrictions, with rivals striking at the first chance they get.

Martin Bouchard, a professor in Simon Fraser University’s school of criminology, said the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings.

Gang violence follows its own course regardless of what the initial motive was for the conflict, he said.

Bouchard is confident police have a good handle on the situation.

“And they know that as the age of the victims gets younger, they need to innovate in terms of their ability to get inside (the gangs).”

This means that informants need to be younger and the police also have to have experts who can find information online.

“And my sense is that the analysts and sometimes civilians working for law enforcement are getting better and better at finding information on these people online through open-source intelligence methods,” Bouchard said.

These gang conflicts tend to go in cycles and once they start, they take on a life of their own, he said.

“Sometimes these start based on perception of disrespect between two people,” he said.

“It could be, you know, a romantic relationship gone wrong. Regardless of the initial motive, we are in a cycle of retaliation. It will follow its course to its — hopefully — conclusion very soon.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

B.C. gang problem

Just Posted

Two police vehicles were damaged and one person was arrested after police responded to a disturbance outside of a residence in Vernon on Friday, June 11, 2021, in the 2300 block of 36th Street. (Justin Ketterer - Contributed)
Kelowna man arrested after crashing into 2 Vernon cop cars

Man’s attempt to flee police fails Friday in residential neighbourhood

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The City of Vernon is asking the Vernon Elks to come back with more information regarding their request for a financial or in-kind donation. (Google Maps)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Most Read