THE BC Liberals said on Tuesday that as gang violence continues to spiral in Metro Vancouver, the BC NDP needs to step up the number of officers in the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit to pursue and arrest gang members.
“The reason why we are seeing this terrible spike in gang violence is because the NDP has failed to provide local governments and police forces with the targeted resources they need,” said MLA Mike Morris, Opposition Critic for Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Public safety will continue to be threatened unless Premier [John] Horgan makes combatting gang violence a priority. Local governments do not have adequate resources to do it on their own. So what we need is immediate action from the province before this situation takes more lives and threatens innocent bystanders.”
The BC Liberals have identified specific measures, including the immediate filling of 200 vacant positions under the provincial policing contract, with at least half going to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit to actively pursue and arrest gang members. To support these efforts, the NDP must also give priority to the BC Prosecution Service to reduce delays and allow police the necessary resources to aggressively crack down on gang violence.
“People are scared and parents don’t want their kids exposed or threatened by gang violence,” said South Surrey MLA Stephanie Cadieux. “We need more than just angry words from our Premier. Local governments have been telling the NDP government they need additional support for over three years.”
“When it comes to gang violence, I think it is more than apparent that we are dealing with a significant safety issue that the provincial government is failing to address,” said Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford. “No one doubts the police are working hard, but they’re outgunned by the gangs and the police need back-up, and John Horgan can provide that. It’s time for the NDP to stop advocating and start acting.”