How do you know whether your kid may have joined a gang?
There are plenty of signs to suggest that they have, if you ask Sgt. Jag Khosa, gang intervention officer with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit — British Columbia (CFSEU-BC).
Coverage of gangs on Globalnews.ca:
Kids from any background can end up in gangs. And many do.
Khosa said one of the keys to keeping kids as young as 14 or 15 years old out of gangs is to look for clear signs of involvement.
Here are five signs that your kid could be involved in gang activity:
If your kid is coming home with cash and saying that they earned it while working for a security firm or a warehouse where they only pay by cash, then something might be up with them.
“That should be the first clue for the parents,” Khosa said.
Khosa said police are often seeing gang members use Blackberries.
And if kids are using pay and talk phones that aren’t registered in their names, “they’re trying to hide something,” he added.
You might see little plastic bags in your kid’s possession.
They may contain drugs, they may not.
But they might also have scales lying around — usually for the purpose of weighing drugs so that they can be bagged, Khosa said.
Your kid might possess a notebook that looks like something from school.
But that notebook could actually be a drug dealer’s ledger, with scoresheets recounting the day’s business, Khosa said.
“Whatever product they buy from their line manager or their food boss or whatever the name you can give them, they get the product, they know how much they got, end of shift, they have to give that account to their boss,” he said.
“And if they owe something, that’s on the kid who’s working. So if there’s a drug debt, if they get robbed, it’s on them.”
The company they keep
“If your kid’s 16 and he’s getting picked up by a 35-year-old, that should be a cause of concern,” Khosa said.
“What’s the connection there? Why is my kid connected to kids much older than their age?”
If you think your child or someone you know is at risk or involved in gangs or drug trafficking, there is help available for you. Get in touch with CFSEU-BC’s Gang Intervention Team today for support. The phone number is (604) 897-6023 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org