Guns & Gangs Trends in Lower Mainland

Lower Mainland

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on society, and one of the trends that has emerged is an increase in sex trafficking linked to organized crime. With lockdowns and social distancing measures limiting social interaction and economic opportunities, vulnerable individuals have become more susceptible to exploitation by criminal organizations.

Understanding the complexities of gangs and drug production in the Lower Mainland is crucial for creating effective prevention and intervention strategies.

Gangs in the Lower Mainland recruit vulnerable children as young as 11 or 12, exploiting their vulnerabilities with false promises of money and protection. The gang lifestyle is glamorized through social media and rap music, which contributes to increased violence. Gangs have a hierarchy with three classes, and organized crime groups use sophisticated tactics to evade law enforcement. Additionally, parents without family support are at high risk for gang recruitment. Even children from affluent families are not immune to the lure of gang involvement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in local manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic drugs, which has led to a rise in drug-related crime and overdoses. Criminal organizations have turned to local manufacturing to maintain their drug supply chains during lockdowns. This trend is not new;  a similar phenomenon occurred with marijuana exports 20 years ago.

The issue of 3D printing firearms bypassing regulations poses a threat to public safety. Importing unregulated parts with no serial numbers creates a loophole that allows for the production of illegal firearms. Stricter regulations and collaboration are needed to prevent this problem.

Prevention measures through education, mentorship, and positive activities are necessary to prevent gang involvement. Enforcing measures, such as increased police presence in high-risk areas, is also important. Multifaceted prevention and intervention efforts, including targeted interventions for older youth already involved in gangs, are needed. Collaboration with schools and community organizations is essential. Interventions at family and individual levels must address underlying issues.

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