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B.C. adds $5M in new funding to school anti-guns and gangs program

A forfeited BMW SUV was made available to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) .
A forfeited BMW SUV was made available to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) . Civil Forfeiture Office

B.C. is beefing up funding to gang prevention programs to the tune of nearly $5 million.

The province announced the new funding for the Erase (expect respect and a safe education) program, a school-based gang and gun prevention initiative, Thursday.

READ MORE: Major police crackdown on B.C. gang violence leads to 59 arrests, weapons and drugs seized

The money will be spread out over three years, and is over and above the $1.12 million announced for the program back in March.

Anti-gang program to be rolled out in Vancouver schools
Anti-gang program to be rolled out in Vancouver schools

“This funding will help support 16 priority school districts in their development of local programming such as after-school clubs and other supports for at risk youth,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

The funding will go to Abbotsford, Burnaby, Delta, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Nanaimo, Prince George, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, Williams Lake, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Courtenay and Hope.

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According to the Ministry of Public Safety, the program offers education and training to students, parents, educators, police and community-based groups.

Sessions are tailored to each community.

It will also help fund localized monthly reports for school districts on social media activity related to gang activity.

The ministry says more than 8,000 people have participated in 110 sessions in the the program’s first two years.

-With files from Janet Brown