Fighting gangs starts at home, activist says

There’s lots of talk about what authorities should be doing to stop the gang violence plaguing the Lower Mainland, but families are just as responsible to make sure our streets are safe, says one anti-gang crusader.

There’s lots of talk about what authorities should be doing to stop the gang violence plaguing the Lower Mainland, but families are just as responsible to make sure our streets are safe, says one anti-gang crusader.

Kaur, who did not want her first name used, has helped organize past gang violence forums in the Lower Mainland.

She said gangsters target new recruits — some as young as Grade 5 — in malls and schools, and are looking for vulnerable kids. Parents, she said, are fuelling the fire by raising children obsessed with material wealth.

“We are giving so much to our children and we think that’s how we’re going to win them over,” Kaur said.

Gang life is an easy way to get that wealth, and parents aren’t doing their children any favours by turning a blind eye to suspect behaviour, she said.

“Do you just accept everything they tell you? If your kid comes home in a BMW and tells you he’s working in an office and you’ve never seen him in a suit, (that’s a sign).”

Kaur said it’s naïve to think gang violence is something that happens in someone else’s neighbourhood and someone else’s family, adding the whole community needs to get involved by attending forums, calling politicians and watching out for each other.

 
 
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