No one expects stopping organized crime and gangs to be easy.
In the wake of another gang-related murder in the Lower Mainland – this one in Langley – homicide investigators said the usual things. Gang related. The victim was known to police. Linked to ongoing violence.
Although the level of shootings doesn’t seem to have reached the intensity of eight to nine years ago, the gangs are continuing to contest their turf with violence.
There are a few promising moves at the federal and provincial levels.
Federally, its uncertain what immediate effect the legalization of marijuana will have on organized crime. The hope is that it will cut off one of their major sources of income – though as long as they can smuggle it into the United States, there will still be a toe hold for criminals.
Provincially, Attorney-General David Eby is trying to crack down on money laundering through casinos.
It appears that for years, money laundering has been rife at the gaming tables in B.C.
Eby has speculated that the money was flowing back into the economy, including into high-end real estate.
Attacking the problem of gangs with police and enforcement is necessary, but it’s only one tool in the toolbox.
Legalizing pot and rooting out money launderers will also hopefully cut down on the violence on our streets. The only reason we have a gang problem is that crime is a route to easy money.
Send violent criminals to jail. Then cut off the source of wealth, so they aren’t replaced by more gang members.