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

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

Municipality of North Cowichan.
Council acknowledges National Indigenous Peoples Day

Recommendations received for prioritization of the updated Climate Action and Energy Plan

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

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

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

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

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

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 Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Most Read