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Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers receives 500-plus tips amid heightened gang violence

Click to play video: 'Public urged to report anonymous organized crime tips to BC Crime Stoppers' Public urged to report anonymous organized crime tips to BC Crime Stoppers
Local police are urging people with information about organized crime in Metro Vancouver to step forward. Experts say the gang turf war is worse than ever and as Andrea Macpherson reports police are counting on anonymous tipsters to help put an end to the violence – Jan 19, 2021

More than 500 calls related to gangs and illegal weapons were received by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers last year, and with a new surge in activity over the past few weeks, gang experts are hoping these anonymous reports will continue.

According to the Crime Stoppers’ 2020 Impact Report, 401 of the of the 510 last year were related to illegal guns. Twenty-one of them resulted in an arrest, 34 in charges and 17 in weapons being seized.

Click to play video: 'Record year for Crime Stoppers tips in B.C.' Record year for Crime Stoppers tips in B.C.
Record year for Crime Stoppers tips in B.C – Jan 16, 2020

In addition, more than $2.7 million in property and illicit drugs were seized, including 16 vehicles.

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“I am very concerned about the numbers,” Linda Annis, executive director with Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and Surrey city councillor, said.

“We have seen a spike in gang activity and we all need to do our part to report when we see something suspicious or know something.”

Click to play video: 'Caught on video: Suspects in Coquitlam shooting torch vehicle' Caught on video: Suspects in Coquitlam shooting torch vehicle
Caught on video: Suspects in Coquitlam shooting torch vehicle – Jan 11, 2021

Read more: Man with known gang ties shot dead at family home in Surrey

Gang experts admit it can sometimes be difficult to convince someone to come forward, even anonymously.

“They are fearful for their own safety, even the gangsters when they give information, they fear that they are next,” said retired Vancouver police gang squad and Odd Squad member Doug Spencer.

“They are at risk so they are going to do what they have to do to protect themselves”.

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The latest targeted shooting in Metro Vancouver took place early Monday morning in Langley, involving a 27-year-old victim.

Since the end of December, there have been six shootings confirmed to be gang-related in the Lower Mainland – five of them fatal.

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