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Gangbusters

gangbusters (slang) - police engaged in combatting organized criminal groups or gangs; - with great impact, vigour, or zeal; energetically, effectively.

A Comprehensive Gang Suppression Strategy

With tremendous community support, the Abbotsford Police Department has created a comprehensive anti-gang strategy that emphasizes both prevention and enforcement.

The Gang Suppression Unit, which was formed in the Spring of 2010, has played a critical role in community safety by making key arrests of gang involved individuals and through timely interdictions of criminal activities.

Equally important is that this unit is constantly gathering and sharing intelligence with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the police throughout the Province are equipped to deal with gangs.

The combination of effective enforcement with unparalleled anti-gang messaging and prevention programs has advanced the Abbotsford Police Department toward its mission of making Abbotsford the safest city in British Columbia.

We believe our comprehensive gang suppression strategy has made a difference in our community. The statistics demonstrate that our efforts are making an impact. That said, we recognize our work is far from over. In fact, in many ways we have only taken a few steps forward in a challenge that requires constant, concerted and continued attention. We glady accept all that the challenge requires because we know our city and our youth are worth it.

Backdrop

In 2008 the Abbotsford-Mission Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was the murder capital of Canada, having a rate of 4.7 homicides per 100,000 residents (the Canadian average was 1.8). During that  same year 29% of B.C.'s homicides were gang related. A Statistics Canada report on homicides for the 10 year period from 1999 to 2008 also showed that more than 58% of Abbotsford-Mission homicides were committed with a firearm, the highest percentage of any CMA (ahead of the next closest CMA< Toronto at 45%).

In 2009 the Abbotsford-Mission CMA was again dubbed the murder capital of Canada (a rate of 5.2 homicides per 100,000 residents - the Canadian average was 1.8). Of those murdered in 2009 were two local high school students, Dilsher Gill (17 years old) and Joseph Randay (19 years old), as well as two other young men, Ryan Richards (19 years old) and Sean Murphy (21 years old). All four were believed to be connected to gang activity, some distant and tenuous.

With this backdrop, the Abbotsford Police Department launched a series of new crime prevention initiatives.