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Meeting police chance to get sense of 'frustrating' gang violence situation: minister

Gang situation 'intolerable'

British Columbia's solicitor general says a meeting with representatives from police agencies is an opportunity to get a full sense of the "intolerable" situation facing Lower Mainland communities amid a gang conflict.

Mike Farnworth met with police representatives Thursday following a recent spate of shootings that have left gang members dead or injured on streets, in mall parking lots and at Vancouver's airport.

At a news conference earlier in the day, Farnworth said the meeting would be a chance to hear about how the different law enforcement agencies are working together.

"It's also an opportunity to identify any potential gaps," he said.

"Police said it's not about resources so I also want to make sure there's not any other areas we need to be focusing on."

The public needs to know that "every tool and every resource" is brought to bear on this recent upsurge in gang violence, he said.

"The police are doing everything we can," Farnworth said. "The message to the public is that we are all focused on this."

Supt. Dave Chauhan, officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said this week that there could be many reasons for the conflict, including personal vendettas or drugs and territorial disputes.

The police are seeing more young people forming gangs and there are splinter groups from those leading to multiple ones, he said.

Premier John Horgan said this week the government wants to make sure they're "focused like a laser" on addressing criminality.

"The first order of business of course is to stop the flow of young people into the gang lifestyle," he said Tuesday.

"But clearly the brazen nature of the violence we've seen over the past two weeks requires law enforcement intervention."

The comments come after a 28-year-old gang member was killed outside the departure terminal at Vancouver's airport on Sunday. Someone in the getaway vehicle later fired shots and hit a pursuing police cruiser.

Police announced on Monday that Ahmed Tahir has been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting in Burnaby on Saturday that left Toni Dalipi, 19, dead and injured the bystander.



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