The gang’s all here . . . or is it?

History, and Hollywood had made gangs appealing by romanticizing the lives.

An in-depth online report on the gang crime situation in B.C. is coming to www.castlegarnews.com on Monday, September 8.

Back when some of us were younger there was something alluring about crime gangs. History, and Hollywood had made them appealing by romanticizing the lives and exploits of figures like Al Capone and Frank Nitti in TV shows like The Untouchables and movies like The Godfather.

The fascination has actually lasted right up to the present, judging by the popularity of the recently-concluded Sopranos series.

But there is nothing endearing about gang crime. Skyrocketing shooting and stabbing statistics in the Lower Mainland, while not all gang-related, definitely have a heavy gang component. Those who feel gang crime is only dangerous for rival gang members and not the general public need only consider recent collateral damage and casualties from incidents such as the infamous “Surrey-Six” killings that took a pair of completely innocent lives in a brazen bullet-fest.

This is thankfully not the sort of incident likely to be dealt with by our local RCMP detachment. But there’s no guarantee that will always be the case.

For now, we have relative isolation from the threat of gang violence.

“We don’t have a noticeable gang influence in Castlegar,” stated RCMP Sergeant Laurel Mathew on August 28. “We’re not dealing with gang issues from the policing perspective on a daliy, or even monthly basis. It’s pretty much a non-issue…knock on wood.”

Special branches of law enforcement are created to deal with the gang problem in B.C.; one of those organizations has prepared a hard-hitting report on the gang phenomenon. An online presentation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) is set to appear on Black Press websites across the province.

This is an eight-page virtual exposé chock full of eye-opening and useful information packaged by B.C.’s Anti-Gang Police.

Please log on and look in, on or after Monday, September 8.