Assistant RCMP Commissioner, Al Macintyre says gang violence is spreading out from the Vancouver region into the BC Interior, including smaller centres like Fort St. John.
Police statistics show of the 138 murders in BC last year, 55 of them, or about 40 percent, were tied to organized crime or gangs.
Fort St. John RCMP Communications Officer Jacklynn Passarell says there are gangs operating in the city.She says Fort St. John is a transient city where young people can make a significant amount of money, and use it to buy drugs like Cocaine.
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On April 27th, the RCMP seized 450 grams of cocaine, from a driver coming from Prince George, which were destined for sale on the streets of Fort St. John. A 29 year old man from Tumbler Ridge was taken into custody.
The RCMP have also conducted numerous drug busts over the last few months, in both Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
Meantime, at the Antisocial Behaviour Meeting on Wednesday, around 50 residents proposed solutions to the city’s gang-related problems, and Mayor Bruce Lantz said he believes there are four gangs operating in the City.
Constable Passarell says the best way to help stop gangs, is inform the police of any suspected gang activities. She also endorses Crimestoppers as a secure system to anonymously report any criminal activity.
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Another Antisocial Behaviour Meeting is scheduled for later this month.