Vancouver police are warning the public about six men they allege are gangsters who pose a “significant threat” to public safety.
Police released the names, photos, and ages of the men, all of whom have ties to Vancouver, at a press conference on Monday, May 17.
“Gang violence continues to be a prominent public safety issue in Metro Vancouver. There have been numerous reckless, brazen acts of violence that threaten the safety of innocent bystanders,” said VPD Chief Adam Palmer.
“I want all Vancouver residents to know the faces of these individuals and to keep their distance from them.”
Police clarified that the men are not currently wanted for any crimes, but that being around them may put members of the public in danger.
There have been 20 gang-related homicides in Metro Vancouver in 2021 and 20 attempted murders, police said. They are expecting the violence to continue and escalate.
Palmer said that officers believe that the six individuals may be targeted by rival gang members.
This poses a threat not only to the family and friends of the men, but to the public as well.
“My greatest concern right now, related to the ongoing gang violence, is that an innocent bystander will be hurt or killed during a shooting targeting a gangster,” Palmer said.
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In addition to identifying several “key players,” Vancouver Police have also launched a new taskforce to deal with the escalating gang violence in the city.
Called “Taskforce Threshold,” the team brings together detectives from the Major Crime and Organized Crime sections.
Tactical officers from the emergency response team, gang crime unit, patrol, and other specialized units will also be involved.
On May 12 — the day the taskforce was officially launched — the team was able to apprehend two men that police believe were planning a gang-related shooting, police announced.
Officers will be stepping up patrols in the city near the restaurants and businesses that gangsters frequent, Palmer said.
“Every single patrol officer will know every single player in this conflict,” Palmer said.