In late February and March of 2022, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) led a month-long initiative in collaboration with the Surrey, Langley and Burnaby RCMP in an effort to reduce opportunities for gang violence in identified high-risk place and times. Using past crime data as a guide to where to most effectively deploy officers, the objective was to mitigate, disrupt, and suppress violence through proactive and high visibility enforcement.
The CFSEU-BC and its partner police agencies in the province have embarked on similar proactive initiatives in the past using historical gang violence trends to inform strategic deployment into identified locations and individuals that pose a threat to public safety due to gang-related criminal and violent activity.
Gang and organized crime-related activities and violence impacts every community in British Columbia. Working with our partners in Surrey, Langley, and Burnaby, enhanced patrols and time spent along high-traffic corridors in these jurisdictions sought to not only disrupt gang activity, but also to provide more opportunities for the interdiction of illegal weapons and commodities.
Using information from previous gang-related violent events, the CFSEU-BC’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Team was deployed into identified areas during specific times of the day and worked with officers from the Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team, Burnaby Gang Enforcement Team and Langley RCMP Project Team to enhance their respective suppression and enforcement efforts.
Throughout the project CFSEU-BC’s UGET seized:
• 8 firearms, 2 converted airsoft firearms (capable of firing live ammunition), and 12 airsoft/replicas
• 2.58 kg of suspected illicit substances including fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine, of which, the .479kg of suspected fentanyl is equivalent to 31,135 lethal doses
• $50,561 Canadian cash
• 5 vehicles
• 87 weapons (knives, bear spray, brass knuckles, batons, crossbow, combat hatchets and axes)
In total, UGET created 213 files, of which 40 involve criminal and provincial investigations and charges.
In addition, referrals were made to the CFSEU-BC Gang Intervention and Exiting program of individuals wanting to exit the gang lifestyle.
The CFSEU-BC is continuing to use data and intelligence from its own efforts and from its partners to inform proactive deployment strategies of its Uniform Gang Enforcement Team. Working with and supporting CFSEU-BC’s policing partners through intelligence-led proactive gang disruption activities impacts the ability of gang members and organized crime groups to operate in communities.