Abbotsford Police set goal of no gang murders in 2011
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has set a goal this year to reduce gang crime by a further 10 per cent and to have no gang-related murders.
The APD’s newly released strategic plan for 2011 states the department will continue to introduce programs to “educate about the risk of gang involvement” and will “target violent gang members to investigate and bring forward charges.”
However, the specific initiatives have not yet been revealed.
“We’re looking at doing some more things with the gang suppression unit (GSU), but we’re not letting them out of the bag yet,” said Const. Ian MacDonald.
Last year, the APD made reducing gang violence a priority, following the warfare that spread into city streets and resulted in eight gang-related slayings in 2009.
The GSU was formed in April, and police compiled a “top 10” list of gangsters that later expanded and now includes a roster of about 180.
There were four murders last year, with two being linked to gangs.
Concerns have arisen most recently about the Duhre crime group and those battling for control. Two targeted shootings, neither resulting in injury or death, have so far been recorded in 2011.
The APD’s strategic plan is also looking for reductions in another area – vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. MacDonald said the department has set an objective of no pedestrian deaths this year, and a 15 per cent reduction in traffic injuries.
Last year, there were 15 vehicle-related fatalities, up from six in 2009. Of those, eight were pedestrians, one was a longboarder and another was a cyclist.
Four officers have been added to the APD’s traffic section, and enforcement of drivers and pedestrians will be increased.
Street disorder and problem residences will also be addressed. The APD has set a goal of reducing both areas by 90 per cent, including moving people who are living in illegal camps to more suitable living arrangements.
MacDonald said the APD has set a timeline of three months to deal with problem residences – those which are considered nuisances due to ongoing noise, criminal activity and police response.
“We want to improve the quality of life for the neighbours,” he said.
Other goals listed in the 2011 strategic plan: A 10 per cent reduction in overall property crime, 20 per cent in residential break-ins and 20 per cent in stolen vehicles; and a 10 per cent reduction in violent crime, including domestic abuse.