Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich on Thursday warned teens dealing drugs at a low level to get out of it now and announced a Youth Help Line.
That is because other gangs, unable to target the upper level of the Red Scorpions gang of the Bacon brothers, are now going after the lower levels.
All four young men recently murdered in Abbotsford, including Indo-Canadians Joseph Randay, 18, and Dilsher Singh Gill, 17, of WJ Mouat Secondary, were involved in petty drug dealing and were apparently thought by rival gangs, such as the UN gang, to be linked to the Red Scorpions.
Rich said that Gill and Randay’s links to the Bacon brothers were “distant and tenuous at best” and could have been “little more than talk on the street.” But that did not prevent them from being killed.
– From The VOICE of May 2009
THE Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) released a series of six gang prevention and education videos on Tuesday that shine a new light on gangs, gang violence, and the effects that those have on families.
In development for close to a year in collaboration with Odd Squad Productions, known for emotional documentaries like Through A Blue Lens, this series of six videos will add to the growing gang prevention components within the CFSEU-BC’s End Gang Life gang prevention and education campaign. Each video runs between seven and 10 minutes long and features interviews with parents who have lost children to gang-related murders, police officers who have spent years investigating gangs and gang-related murders, and former gang members who give rare insight into the world of gangs and gang violence.
The videos provide a unique thought-provoking look into many of the main myths surrounding gangs and expose the truths and perils of gangs, all with the aim of promoting community conversations about gangs, their effects on communities, and to prevent and deter youth and young adults from entering gang life.
Aside from the general public, they are a resource for police agencies, youth, parents, schools, and community groups to watch and incorporate into conversations about gangs, drugs, and crime prevention and education.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia worked in collaboration with Odd Squad Productions and Bright Light Studios to put together this sophisticated video project that dispels many of the common myths around gangs.
This compelling and groundbreaking piece of work provides never before seen insight into the lives of real people affected by gang violence. The hope is that it will offer a unique resource for our schools and that the message has a profound impact on all of whom it reaches.
You are encouraged to show these modules, share them, and have an open and honest discussion about the content within them. The people involved in the modules have participated so no other families, friends, or loved ones have to go through what they have gone through.
Video Module Summary
- Myths: You’ll make lots of money and be powerful & Selling a little bit of drugs isn’t a big deal – The first module disputes the myth of having lots of money, fancy cars, power and that transporting a little bit of drugs is no big deal. The basis of the first module is essentially high risk, high reward.
- Myths: As a gangster’s girlfriend / wife you’ll have everything you want & Girls and women aren’t allowed to join gangs – The second module focuses specifically on female involvement in gangs. Girls have a role to play too, and they aren’t immune to the violence that accompanies the lifestyle.
- Myths: You’ll have plenty of friends and they won’t care if you’re a gangster & You’ll be respected and feared wherever you go & You can always get out whenever you want – The third module highlights the misconception that gang members will be your friends, people you count on, and that that lifestyle will earn you respect. Gang life is a book that gets judged by its cover. The horrors aren’t revealed until later.
- Myths: Someone will always have your back and you’ll be protected & Even if you do end up in prison, your gang will protect you – The fourth module focuses on the belief that a gang is like a brotherhood and support system. The reality of the situation is that you are entirely alone, fighting a losing battle.
- Myth: You’ll live a long and happy life – The myth of living a long and happy life is demystified entirely in the fifth module. It is no secret, but many gangsters don’t live past the age of 30.
- Myths: Gang murders are a victimless crime & Gangs are only a lower class, ethnic problem & “No one in ‘my’ family would ever be in a gang”& Once kids join a gang there’s no hope for them – The sixth module serves to eliminate the stigma that surrounds gang life. It is easy to brush it off and say that these people got what they deserved, and that the murder of a gangster is a victimless crime. But there are victims: the parents, spouses, and children who are left behind to suffer.
“I strongly encourage parents and young people to view CFSEU-BC’s latest series of powerful End Gang Life videos,” says Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “Hearing former gang members dispel the myths of gang life in their own words provides a compelling warning to those who may be at risk – and the statements of parents who lost their children in gang-related homicides remind us that any young person, regardless of their background or gender, can be vulnerable to gang influences.”
“These videos mark a significant milestone for gang prevention and education in British Columbia,” says Chief Superintendent Kevin Hackett, Chief Officer of the CFSEU-BC. “Gangs and gang violence tears families and communities apart but all too often, despite the warnings and violence, we hear of young people getting involved in gangs. It is critical that we hear from those directly involved or affected by the ravages of gangs and dispel the many myths if we are going to end gang life in our province.”
“Engaging people on the topic of gang violence and the realities of gang life is incredibly important work,” says Abbotsford Police Department Chief Constable Bob Rich, who appears in the video series. “We must do everything we can to help young people make positive choices and educate them about the actual consequences of negative ones. This project means young people can hear the truth about gang life.”
The videos can be found by visiting www.endganglife.ca
If you have any questions or inquiries related to the modules, do not hesitate to contact the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia at [email protected]