GANG crime is a problem plaguing society. After years of research and collaboration between the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Acting Together – Community University Research Alliance (AT-CURA), various police agencies, and community partners across British Columbia, prevention methods have been developed and implemented throughout the province to discourage youth from joining gangs and to inform parents and the public of warning signs.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC), in partnership with the AT-CURA Project (www.actingtogether.ca) and the South Asian Community Coalition Against Youth Violence (SACCAYV) on Wednesday announced the launch of a new handbook titled Understanding Youth and Gangs – A Parent Resource.
The Understanding Youth and Gangs booklet will be beneficial to parents by helping them to learn and recognize the signs of potential gang involvement in their children, how to prevent them from getting involved with gangs, and to guide children back on a positive path and create resiliency.
The booklet is primarily meant to be a resource to parents and focuses on dial-a-doping as a main entry point for many youth who enter gangs or organized criminal activity. This booklet will prove valuable to police officers, teachers, community workers, and others and will help them take the important first steps towards playing a significant role in understanding the issue of gangs and recognizing warning signs in youth and young adults.
While the first edition is English-only, future editions will include translation into several languages including: Punjabi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, and others. By working with police and community partners, CFSEU-BC will be distributing the booklet throughout the province.
“It is often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this synergy between academia, the community, and police is a prime example of that,” says Sgt. Lindsey Houghton for the CFSEU-BC. “Police cannot fight gangs alone and this booklet will hopefully play a significant role in educating people about gangs, how to recognize warning signs that a youth may be getting involved in gangs, and provide information on how to prevent young people from joining gangs.”
“Prevention is the key to combating gang crime in communities around the province,” says Dr. Gira Bhatt of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s AT-CURA Project. “Working in partnership with CFSEU-BC and SACCAYV, the AT-CURA Project research has been able to determine which factors prevent kids from involvement in violence, crimes and gangs, as well as develop a strength-based approached to address the issues of gang violence that affect communities throughout British Columbia.”
This booklet forms yet another component of CFSEU-BC’s growing gang prevention and public engagement efforts under the End Gang Life banner. In addition to the booklet, the End Gang Life gang prevention, awareness, and public engagement campaign includes, but is not limited to, school presentations, television and radio public service announcements, posters, and attendance at community forums.
In order to obtain copies of the booklet, contact your local police department, or email the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC at [email protected] An electronic PDF version of the booklet can be found by visiting CFSEU-BC’s End Gang Life webpage: www.endganglife.ca