Vancouver police have announced another element to their renewed crackdown on gangs — the expansion of its Citizens’ Crime Watch program.
The organization, which launched nearly three decades ago, is doubling in size to 200 volunteers after the department found the resources to accommodate almost everyone on its waiting list.
Police Chief Jim Chu said members help police identify stolen cars and vehicles that belong to known gangsters.
“The volunteers will create an invisible net around high-profile gang hang-outs and report to police when they spot a licence plate from the list,” said Chu.
“When a gangster crosses the city limits of Vancouver, he is crossing through into a net of surveillance,” added Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke.
Const. Oscar Alvarez, who is in charge of the Citizens’ Crime Watch, said members scanned more than 300,000 licence plates last year.
“Our volunteers have recovered over 40 stolen vehicles and have helped police catch impaired drivers and criminals involved in a variety of other crimes,” he said.