The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit is B.C.'s anti-gang police unit that aims to suppress and disrupt organized crime.

Anti-gang police publish first community report

CFSEU unveils profile of murder victims, warning signs for parents

B.C.’s anti-gang police unit is taking a step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) is the integrated team of 400 officers and civilians from 14 different agencies, including RCMP and municipal police forces, that disrupt and suppress organized crime around the province.

Their investigations have cracked big cases, such as the discovery of an audacious cross-border drug-smuggling tunnel in Aldergrove and the unraveling of a massive international money-laundering ring.

The CFSEU is now out to capture a bigger public profile with the publication of its first-ever Community Report.

The report can be read online at bc-anti-gang.com.

Sgt. Lindsey Houghton said the aim is to make more people aware of the CFSEU and what it does.

The initiative comes as the anti-gang force chalks up a major win – the arrest in February of three men in the murder of notorious gangster Jonathan Bacon, who was shot with four associates in 2011 outside a Kelowna casino.

“Some people never thought that day would ever come,” Houghton said. “Or that the police would ever take something like that seriously. That was one of the watershed moments in the history of Kelowna.”

Houghton said the report pulls together a broader picture of the CFSEU’s work than people see in daily news media coverage.

“It seems like every couple of weeks or month we’ve got an interesting story to tell and this was one way for us to tell it,” he said.

The report includes stories of officers tracking members of the Dhak/Duhre crime group who make up one side of the ongoing bloody gang conflict in B.C.

And it also releases intriguing findings on who is most likely to end up a victim of the gang violence that occasionally erupts in B.C.

CFSEU researchers found the vast majority of gang-related murder victims over a four-year period had previous drug charges or convictions, and often violent criminal pasts.

Most were gang members, not just associates or minor players in the drug trade, and a few were girlfriends or an innocent victim, like a man who was shot in Burnaby after picking up a Bacon brother vehicle to install a car stereo in it.

B.C. gang-related killings peaked at 36 in 2009 before dropping to 18 last year.

Victims are overwhelmingly men and their average age is 30, according to CFSEU stats.

Three-quarters of bodies are found near the victims’ homes or vehicles.

Most (85 per cent) were shot, but eight per cent were viciously beaten, six per cent were stabbed and one victim was burned to death.

Also included are key risk factors for ending up in a gang and tips for parents on spotting potential signs of gang involvement. Carrying multiple cellphones, having unexplained cash and making frequent brief trips out of the home are among the red flags.

The report details how police try to keep gangsters out of bars and restaurants to keep them from recruiting new blood, as well as to prevent gang violence.

This month the CFSEU said it will publicly identify suspected gangsters where possible as a new tactic to make it more difficult for organized crime to operate.

After a gang-related shooting outside a gym in South Surrey, senior officers are also pledging backup for businesses that make gangsters feel unwelcome in their premises.

For more on the CFSEU, check out their website at cfseu.bc.ca or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Just Posted

Proper engagement needed for quarry development: expert

Impact on residents, species should be communicated, evaluated

Wildlife centre operator concerned about leg-hold traps

Elizabeth Melnick of Abbotsford says contraptions are injuring innocent animals

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP members named to Alexa’s Team

Team honours officers working to keep drunk drivers off the roads, in honour of girl killed in 2008

Festival society releases full lineup for 40th Harrison Festival of the Arts

Legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and rock band Chilliwack among performers at 2018 festival

Semi-rollover closes traffic on Highway 1

Vehicle incident east of No. 3 road has shut down highway in both directions

Residents mobilize to halt quarry development

News that an application was sent to the province proposing a construction… Continue reading

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Cops corral pig on the loose on Vancouver Island

Police “put the grab” on pig before it can cross the highway on Vancouver Island

Most Read