August 22, 2016 - 6:30 PM
GANG MEMBER LEFT FOR WEEKEND TO AVOID TASK FORCE
KAMLOOPS - The province's integrated anti-gang agency is praising Kamloops RCMP for the detachment's work at curbing organized crime in the city.
This comes one week after the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit helped Kamloops RCMP arrest eight people who may have links to gang activity.
The unit's spokesperson, Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton, says once a Red Scorpions member got word of the task force heading to Kamloops, he fled for the weekend.
"That disrupted any activity he may have been a part of that weekend," Houghton says.
But gang activity isn't exclusive to Kamloops, and Houghton says organized crime isn't necessarily on the rise in the city, or in places like Vernon.
"I don’t think it would be accurate to say there was a rise or a fall (of gang activity) in any of those communities," Houghton says.
He calls people involved in organized crime "unbelievably transient," meaning they're not prominent in the community all the time.
“We have seen spikes in street-level drug-related... activity as they fight for control over the street-level drug trade,” Houghton says. "No community in B.C. is immune to it. We saw that in Vernon and that prompted our response to Vernon RCMP."
Houghton says since the special enforcement unit went up to Vernon in the spring, street-level violence has decreased.
He also points to Kamloops RCMP's work on the short-lived Wolfpack gang, which seemed to be in and out of Kamloops quickly.
"Whether it's Kamloops or Fort St. John, these groups are always fighting over that street-level drug trade," Houghton says.
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