WITH a recent escalation in gang-related violence in Prince George, members of the Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) were recently deployed there in order to try and mitigate, disrupt and suppress any further violence.
Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC Media Relations Officer, said that by conducting proactive and high visibility enforcement in the community, including on those individuals or groups that pose the greatest risk to public safety due to their involvement in gang or organized crime activity, UGET was able to contribute to overall coordinated law enforcement efforts with the Prince George RCMP.
While UGET is based in the Lower Mainland and deploys daily into all of the local communities, the teams also regularly deploy to communities around the province, either proactively or reactively, to provide short-term support to police agencies.
UGET worked in partnership with the Prince George RCMP to ensure that the team was briefed on local crime hot spots and received up-to-date intelligence to help direct their enforcement activities.
Over the four days, 193 vehicles were stopped and interactions made with 346 people, with the majority of those people connected to the street-level drug trade. Of concern to overall public safety was the number of weapons located within vehicles and in close proximity to, or in the possession of, the occupants. Taking these weapons off the street and out of the hands of those involved in the drug trade was vital to the UGET violence suppression efforts while in Prince George.
UGET members seized seven knives, one hatchet, two batons, two tasers, one machete, and eight rifles. While some of these items may be everyday tools for the general public, for individuals involved in criminal activity they can represent dangerous weapons used to intimidate or assault others, or to protect illegal commodities and proceeds of crime. Also seized were small quantities of suspected methamphetamine, and potentially deadly fentanyl.
“One of the core aspects of the overall CFSEU-BC enforcement strategy are the Uniform Gang Enforcement Teams (UGET),” said Winpenny. “Success is measured for the Uniform Gang Enforcement Team of CFSEU-BC not only by the enforcement results but by how well they can build partnerships to increase the overall effectiveness and capacity of gang and violence suppression in British Columbia.”