Preventing youth involvement in gangs
Gang prevention is a public safety priority for British Columbia.
The province uses civil forfeiture to seize the proceeds of illegal gang activity and invest them in gang and youth crime prevention programs. Since 2011, it has invested almost $4M.
Since 2010, the province has partnered with the BC Lions on Lions Pride. It brings together players, schools and communities to mentor at-risk youth and keep them active and out of gangs. The program includes school presentations and a four-team flag football league for at-risk youth.
Additionally, from 2006 to 2010, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General led a provincial youth gang prevention strategy funded by the National Crime Prevention Centre. It worked with Surrey, Richmond, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Prince George, the South Asian Community Coalition, the Vancouver School District and the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Society to develop action plans that address and prevent youth involvement in gangs and gang violence.
The plans led to youth violence prevention programs, including:
- Job training
- Recreational programming
- Educational resources
Some communities received extra funds from the Youth Gang Prevention Fund of the National Crime Prevention Centre. Funds were used to develop and put in place interventions that targeted youth at highest risk of involvement in gangs and gang violence.