Columbia Valley police preserve peaceful gang-free period

Gang presence has waned in the Columbia Valley after a period of relative unrest between 2010 and 2012

Gang presence has waned in the Columbia Valley after a period of relative unrest between 2010 and 2012.

Members of one gang based out of the Prairie provinces, identifying as the Street Kings, were flagrantly operating in the valley during that period, profiting largely through the drug trade, said Cpl. Brent Ayers of the Columbia Valley RCMP.

Despite a lack of competing gangs in the region, Cpl. Ayers said that the Street Kings were driven out of the community as a result of their own business practices.

“Other [dealers] had better people skills or a better product line — it’s no different than retail business,” he said. “Their way of business was too rough and too edgy for what this valley wanted.”

As an alternative to supporting gang activity, sometimes friends will pool money for a large quantity from a large city such as Calgary, he said.

While the RCMP make every effort to eradicate all illicit drug trafficking, more focus is applied to preventing gangs from entering the business, as increased levels of petty crime are frequent byproducts of gang activity.

“We’d like to think that the drugs are being diminished, but the reality is drugs, like any contraband, has always been in society,” he said. “Ultimately we just try to keep it safe. The Street Kings with their business structure, they weren’t making the streets safe.”

There are still people associated with members of the Street Kings residing in the valley, but the group’s presence is no longer active.

“Having been here nine years, I can confidently say that gang violence in the past year has definitely gone down,” he said.

As criminals work hard to keep the police “out of the loop,” Cpl. Ayers said that the local detachment is approachable on a personal level, and crime can be mitigated through a good relationship with those involved.

“We can sometimes work together to ensure that violence doesn’t come into the population.”

 

Just Posted

Local skicross racers hit the World Cup circuit

Olympian India Sherret is joined by fellow local racers Zoe Chore and Courtney Hoffos

UPDATED: Hwy 93 reopens after rockslide blocks traffic in Fairmont Hot Springs

Highway at Fairmont between Dutch Creek and Westside Road blocked until geotechnical team can assess

Rob Morrison sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia MP

Parliament set to reconvene on Thursday with election of House Speaker, Throne Speech

Break-and-enter at Family Pantry in Canal Flats

Weekly RCMP report, November 24-December 1

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: B.C. professor

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Most Read