Gang violence could spread: experts

A car-bombing, a downtown gunfight, a targeted drive-by killing outside a restaurant.

VANCOUVER — A car-bombing, a downtown gunfight, a targeted drive-by killing outside a restaurant.

They are all hallmarks of Vancouver-style gang violence but it was on the streets of Prince George, B.C., that these scenes have unfolded over the past year or so.

And one gang expert says they’re just a taste of what the northern hub and other B.C. cities might experience in coming years.

Communities such as Prince George, Kelowna and Kamloops, even small centres like Fort St. John, face a threat of increased violence as gangsters look for green pastures away from increasingly hot big Canadian cities.

“It’s just a matter of time,” says Michael Chettleburgh, an author and private consultant on justice issues. “We’re going to see that in the next one to two years.”

Chettleburgh says there’s a rough equilibrium now among gangs operating outside the Vancouver area, but that could change if gangs from as far east as Toronto eye vulnerable new turf.

“We’ve got guys from Ottawa and Toronto going to Calgary, going to Edmonton,” he says. “They’ll start to look at Kelowna and all of these other cities with dollar signs in their eyes, and that’s when you see the violence.”

Both Prince George and Kelowna have new anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Units, thanks to the federal and B.C. government’s anti-gang counter-attack announced last winter.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read