‘We have all the major gangs’: Kelowna RCMP implements Surrey program

Kelowna RCMP are implementing a program targeting gang members in the area. Global News

Kelowna RCMP’s leader revealed that all of B.C.’s major gangs are operating in the city, in a report given to city council on Monday evening.

“We have all of the major gangs in Kelowna,” said Supt. Kara Triance.

“We know that Kelowna was subject to some violent crime in the first quarter of this year. (Especially) when we saw that public shooting that happened in Kelowna a couple months ago.”

Triance referenced a targeted shooting outside of the Global Fitness Centre where a West Kelowna man was shot on March 29.

Read more: Victim identified in brazen Kelowna daylight shooting

The city’s top police officer went on to say the detachment has made reducing violent offences a focal point.

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“We are working hard to suppress (gang-related crimes) as we focus on those who are benefiting from the economic sales of drugs,” said Triance.

“We will continue to do this work through intelligence-led policing and successful prosecution of our cases.”

A program from the Surrey RCMP detachment has been introduced to Kelowna.

“As an exciting and new invitation to the detachment, we have brought in Insp. Beth McAndie, who has implemented the ‘inadmissible patrons program’ in our community and we will have this in place in time to roll out by this summer,” said Triance.

“We are actively engaged with liquor control licensing facilities as well as the hotels and that allows us to really focus on those who are committing violent crimes in our communities.”

Read more: ‘In the middle of a gang war’ — Policing, industry experts say Metro Vancouver patios safe as bullets fly

The inadmissible patrons program was developed to help prevent violent criminal activity in and around licensed establishments.

Its objectives:

  1. Public safety: To deter public violence caused by organized crime groups and their associates by making it known that they are unwelcome in and will be removed from participating establishments.
  2. Patron safety: To reduce the threat of collateral violence to establishment patrons by deterring individuals whose activities pose a risk to public safety from frequenting participating establishments.
  3. Staff Safety: To reduce interactions between establishment staff and individuals associated with criminal activity in order to eliminate the intimidation and fear such contact can bring.

How IPP works

Licensed bars and restaurants in Surrey that choose to join the program will sign an Inadmissible Patron Agreement that authorizes the Kelowna RCMP to act on the establishment’s behalf to identify and remove inadmissible patrons from the premises, according to police.

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Under the BC Trespass Act, authorized persons can require a person’s name and address and ask them to leave the premises.

Inadmissible patrons will not be arrested or charged, provided they leave the establishment when requested by a person in authority.

“In determining if someone is considered an Inadmissible Patron, police officers will weigh factors such as length of criminal history, seriousness of past criminal offences, risk the person poses to the public, current associates, and length of time since last offence,” RCMP staff wrote in a release.

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