VANCOUVER, B.C. – The RCMP says it wants to help former gang members in B.C. leave their lifestyle by paying for them to remove gang-affiliated tattoos.
Sgt. Shinder Kirk of the B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force says that in exchange, police want information to combat gangs.
He says such co-operation will ensure people are serious about cutting their ties to gangs, which often require identifying marks such as tattoos.
Kirk wouldn’t say how many former gangsters have taken part in the program to have tattoos removed by a laser through a police program that’s modelled after several in the U.S. but is the first of its kind Canada.
Former gang member Amir Javid says he welcomes the idea but doesn’t think people should have to rat out their former gang to get their tattoos removed.
Javid, who runs a program called Real World Truth to reach out to at-risk youth, gang members and prisoners, says he’d like his tattoos gone, but wouldn’t provide any information to police to make that happen.