B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)

B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

The latest round of gang revenge shootings in Metro Vancouver has resulted in arrests in Surrey and Burnaby, and police need information on the participants to make more progress, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Recent brazen shootings in Surrey, Burnaby and at Vancouver International Airport are only part of gang-related violence that has seen 11 shooting incidents in Surrey alone so far in 2021. Six of those were homicides, in the latest gang crimes around the province that typically involve drug trafficking and “a series of turf wars,” Farnworth told reporters Friday.

He said there are legal limits on the ability of police and the province to “name and shame” individuals, but that would be an effective way of deterring people who have become involved in gangs.

After meeting with B.C. police chiefs this week, Farnworth reiterated that resources are not an issue, and the budget for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has increased 15 per cent in recent years. He has repeatedly clarified that traffic stops to enforce B.C.’s COVID-19 essential travel order have not affected gang investigations.

Tips on the next target, from associates and family members of gang members, are what’s needed, he said.

“These gangsters either end up jail or they end up dead,” Farnworth said. “They need to realize they are not safe anywhere.”

2021: Shootings/homicides
Infogram

Teenagers have been targets or participants in recent shootings, an issue that led to creation of the long-standing police liaison program in high schools. Former gang members participate to give students an inside look at criminal organizations. Vancouver and New Westminister school boards have recently voted to get rid of the program, apparently part of a wave of anti-police sentiment that has spread from the United States.

Farnworth said B.C. has made progress, establishing its own forensic firearms lab and a witness protection program that has led to 42 convictions. Guns, the borders they cross and the drugs they protect are matters of federal law, and B.C.’s latest move this spring includes a ban on selling “low-velocity” pellet or BB guns to young people.

The Firearm Violence Prevention Act also allows B.C. police to impound vehicles used to transport firearms or flee from police, and collection of fingerprints from those applying for armoured vehicle and body armour permits.

RELATED: B.C. moves to seize vehicles carrying illegal guns

RELATED: 14-year-old boy ‘dead at the scene’ of Surrey shooting


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. gang problemBC politics

Just Posted

White Rock beach was buzzing with activity on Father’s Day. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: White Rock beach buzzing with activity on Father’s Day

High of 27C drew hundreds of people to the beach

This year’s Virtual Hike for Hospice raised just over $30,000 with the support of participants including Marlene. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: Virtual hike raises $30K for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Community support smashes fundraising goal

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Coun. David Chesney listen to welcoming remarks from Chief Harley Chappell (Xwopokton). (FIle photo)
White Rock, SFN grieve together on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Residents encouraged to wear orange on Canada Day

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

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

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read