For the past week Vancouver has played host to roughly 560 delegates from across Canada, the United States and Central America to share their experiences and most effective practices for combating gang violence.
Investigators at the week-long Western Gang Conference, which ended yesterday, came from as far away as Guatemala and Honduras, countries plagued with violence unlike anything in Canada, police said.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German said information gleaned from the Central American investigators help those in the Lower Mainland detect and dismantle gangs here.
Insp. Dean Robinson said while not all those region’s problems and solutions can be applied to the Lower Mainland, there are applications that work across the board.
He added that Central American trends in gang violence, and gang members themselves, often migrate north.
“(The conference) provided an opportunity for investigators and enforcement officers to identify patterns that exist in gang crime that might be developing elsewhere, to allow us to prepare in advance for it if it migrates here,” he said.
Robinson said despite differences in gang activity from country to country, the driving factor is always drugs.
Conference tackles gangs
For the past week Vancouver has played host to roughly 560 delegatesfrom across Canada, the United States and Central America to sharetheir experiences and most effective practices for combating gangviolence.