'Your call could save a life': Crime Stoppers asks public to report on gang activity
A photo of police markers at a recent gang incident in Metro Vancouver.
VANCOUVER -- Crime Stoppers is urging anyone who knows anything about the recent gang violence in Metro Vancouver to call its tip line.
“We need to take our city back. We can’t have the gangsters running our city,” said Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis.
Appearing on CTV Morning Live on Tuesday, Annis reassured potential callers that their anonymity will be protected if they phone the tip line.
“Anyone who leaves information with Crime Stoppers is protected by the Supreme Court of Canada,” she said.
The provincial government announced Monday that it is putting $200,000 into a Crime Stoppers awareness campaign called “Guns and Gangs.” The program encourages the reporting of anonymous tips about information that police hope will lead to arrests within gang networks.
Annis says the public can help to ensure the gang members involved in what she calls “the war” are arrested and put into jail.
“Often times, it’s people closest to the person, that is committing the crime. It may be a sibling, it may be parents, it may be the next door neighbour, maybe your best friend,” added Annis.
There have been almost a dozen shootings in Metro Vancouver in less than a month. On Monday, Vancouver police took the rare step of naming their “top six” alleged gang members. Their message: “Steer clear of them because they could be the next targets.”
The six range in age from 22 to 41 and police say they’re all known gang members.
Vancouver police have also launched a new task force that consolidates resources and expertise within its ranks to help prevent gang violence.
“Every day these same gangsters are going to our grocery stores, they’re going to our restaurants, they’re going to our public spaces,” Vancouver deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow said on Monday.