Kelowna Mounties rolling up the welcome mat
Kelowna Mounties have a message they want gangsters and their associates to hear
"You're not welcome here," said Const. Kris Clark in a press release.
Over the past several years, police have noticed a considerable increase in gang presence throughout the Central Okanagan during the summer months as gang members and their associates from across BC and Alberta venture to the hot beaches and cool waters here.
"With them comes illicit drugs and the ever-present potential for a range of gang-related violence. Kelowna has seen its fair share of gang violence in recent years with one of the more high-profile being the brazen afternoon shooting of Red Scorpions member Jonathan Bacon, which also involved a full patch member of the Hells Angels and other organized crime groups, only steps away from the waterfront," said Const. Kris Clark.
"While that level of gang violence is fortunately rare, the drugs they bring and fear they incite damage the community just as much as any gang murder could."
The Kelowna RCMP will be working closely this summer with their policing partners from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) as well as agencies from Alberta in order to combat the gang presence this summer. Already this summer, police have been working with staff and management at the many bars, restaurants and hotels in Kelowna to promote public safety resulting in a number of removals.
"By using our own expertise as well as that of police from other jurisdictions we will be able to quickly and efficiently identify gang members and their associates," said Supt Nick Romanchuk, Officer in Charge of the Kelowna Regional RCMP.
"We want them to know that they are not anonymous here, they are not wanted here and if they commit an offence of any kind, there will be zero tolerance."