Alberta’s top cops revealed a criminal roadblock in the battle against gang warfare yesterday, intended to park vehicles targeted by flying bullets.
As of July 1, new legislation will allow officers to halt any armoured vehicle in the province, requiring the driver pull the vehicle off the road for inspection.
If the vehicle does not pass inspection, the driver could be faced with up to $2,000 in fines and six months in jail.
“By giving police the ability to get these vehicles — which are essentially weapons — off the road, we are delivering a major blow to gang activity in Alberta,” Justice Minister Alison Redford said in a statement.
While the initiative is proactive, Canadian gang expert Michael Chettleburgh predicts the blow will be anything but major.
“It’s not going to change the gang dynamic in Alberta remarkably in any way,” he said. “If you believe that your life is at risk, which is the ultimate price to pay for your gang involvement, I think you’re still going to continue to get your car armour-plated.”
Cars with professional after-market security enhancements can slip by even a discriminating eye, he said, predicting the legislation will likely net less than 10 vehicles.
“They’re a needle in a haystack,” he said. “It’s not like all the gang-bangers are driving these cars. It’s going to be select guys at the top of the food chain, who believe their lives are at risk because of the drug market they control.”