CBC – Sept. 17, 2014 – Long – 5:30 pm
CBC – Sept. 17, 2014 – Short – 11:00
CJOB – Sept. 17, 2014
CTV – Sept. 17, 2014
The executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, which released information Wednesday from an extensive study into the issue, said the group is still hoping for more support from the province on putting a stop to the epidemic.
The report from the Gang Action Interagency Network calls for long-term solutions, suggesting “projects with short-term funding almost always have short-term futures.”
Mahmood said Winnipeg police are of the same thought that gang problems won’t be arrested away, but now wants the province to be on board.
“(Police) are all in agreement with what we’re seeing in our research, but we’re not seeing the same response from the province, which is a little frustrating,” Mahmood said. “There’s not a lot happening there and we would really like to see more engagement from the civic leaders. The province is aware and understands that they need to do more. I just don’t know why they’re not stepping up and taking a lead on this stuff.”
Mahmood said a number of stakeholders were involved in the two years of research and consultation that went into the report, including youth groups, who said the biggest problems facing those who want to curb gang involvement are not having safe venues and not having access to employment.
“I don’t know many kids who wouldn’t choose a legal job over an illegal job,” Mahmood said. “If their best interests are to work a legal job, most kids would choose that.”
Metro – Sept. 18, 2014
Report recommends tangible steps to keeping kids away from gang life
Winnipeg police say they’re staying on top of the street gang problem in the city, but a local youth outreach worker says the problem is bigger than just what the cops can lock away.
Sgt. Mike MacKinnon, of the Winnipeg Police Service’s street crimes unit, admits there are always going to be gangs like the Manitoba Warriors feuding with others, but believes the WPS has a grasp on the problem.
“Definitely we are on top of our gang situation here in Winnipeg,” he said. “What I mean by that is we know the key players, we know who is involved and what they’re doing and with this street crime unit, we concentrate on that each and every day.”
Jamil Mahmood, executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, lauded the cops for their work, but said the problem isn’t going away simply with street-level arrests.
“Winnipeg doesn’t have a gang strategy as a city or a gang exit program strategy, so we won’t see change until a strategy is developed,” said Mahmood, who is also co-chair of the Gang Action Interagency Network.
“I’m a supporter of police, but it’s not the solution. Trying to lock up every kid is not going to solve the problem. We’ve invested a lot of money into suppression and it’s been proven it stops immediate threats, but in terms of long-term solutions we need to see a broader plan.”
Mahmood said GAIN is holding a gang forum in April in hopes of aligning all levels of government in putting resources to better use. He said the province’s street gang strategy, launched in 2009, is off-base.
“For politicians it’s never been a desire to get involved,” he said. “Even the province, they spent something like $250,000 on TV advertising, but ask anyone on the ground level how off-base it was. It’s not going to change anyone’s mind.
“We’re trying to lay some ground work … and we’ll take it to the city and say ‘This is what we need to do.’”
Winnipeg has had three homicides thus far in 2013. Of those, one killing had links to gangs — the shooting of William Edward Moar at Johnny G’s restaurant last month. Two people — 22-year-old Akech Dut Ajak and a 15-year-old boy — were charged Thursday in connection with the killing.
GANGS RUN ‘LIKE A BUSINESS’
As the world evolves, so too do street gangs and the way they operate.
Winnipeg police weren’t keen on talking about the evolution of street gangs in the city, but Det.-Sgt. Tyson Lavallee of the Saskatoon Police Service said gangs there began running operations “like a business” after the province’s economic fortunes began to improve in the past decade.
“With the increase of money and a lot of people coming from out of province, our drug trade has boomed and our gangs jumped on board right away,” he said. “That drug trade and that expansion of the drug market in Saskatoon really affected how the gangs look and how they behave.”
Lavallee said there’s three or four gang-connected homicides a year in that city. An SPS outreach program targets kids as young as 10 to stem the swelling of gangs.
“If an 18-year-old kid wants to go join a gang and he’s in that lifestyle,” he said, “the police aren’t the ones that are going to pull him out of that world.”
The problem is similar in Winnipeg, where murder charges were levelled against four youths last year.
Michael Chettleburgh, an author and speaker on street gangs in Canada, blames the problem on the social environment that breeds it.
“The largest cohort of gang-involved youth are aboriginal, and the biggest gangs are aboriginal,” Chettleburgh said in an email.
“When you live in a war zone, you begin to act like a soldier.”
Lavallee said cops remain undaunted.
“Our goal here with our unit is to identify those that present the greatest threat to the community and that’s who we target,” he said. “It’s never this giant wash of ‘This is never going to stop’, it’s always ‘OK, who’s our next target?’”
CBC Radio – Feb 8, 2012
Gang Action Interagency Network
Anti-gang group runs for awarenessBy Jason Halstead ,Winnipeg Sun
First posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 06:42 PM CDT
A new anti-gang group hit the pavement to get its message out Sunday.
The Gang Action Interagency Network (GAIN) held its Run For Awareness Sunday, with about 10 participants running from Vimy Ridge Park in the West End to Kildonan Park.
GAIN co-chair Jessica Dumas said the event was about pushing the need for more resources to keep kids from joining gangs and getting others out of thug life.
“It’s for all the kids we’ve already lost,” Dumas said. “We have so many who still have a chance, so let’s do something to help them.”
GAIN, which involves a coalition of numerous community agencies, has also been working for the past year to lobby the provincial and federal governments to invest more in getting young Winnipeggers out of gangs.
“I’m a single mom with three boys and they’re growing up in this city,” Dumas said. “I’ve lost family to gang violence and it can be prevented, I think.”
Her cousin Leon Dumas was shot and killed in the Lord Selkirk Park housing complex in the North End in March 2006.
Dumas also works as the community justice co-ordinator for the Southern Chiefs Organization.
The run comes just over a week after a fatal attack on 15-year-old Clark “Clarky” Stevenson that was a result of a feud between rival street gangs in the North End.
Stevenson and his friend were on bicycles near Boyd Avenue and Aikins Street when they encountered a group of rivals from another gang and a fight erupted that left the 15-year-old fatally stabbed.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Dumas said of Stevenson. “At the end of the day, this was a 15-year-old boy and he needed help. For kids and even young adults who want to leave gangs, we have to create something.”
Network suggests 24-hour drop-ins to reduce gang problem
By: Gabrielle Giroday
The head of a West End community group says youth need a safe place to go — around the clock — to escape the lure of gangs.
Jamil Mahmood, executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, was one of about 125 people at the Aboriginal Centre on Wednesday for a meeting of members of the Gang Action Interagency Network (GAIN).
The meeting was scheduled to discuss specific ways of dealing with the complex social issue of why kids join gangs.
Mahmood said kids his organization works with are susceptible to joining gangs, so having resources available 24 hours a day would help keep them from making those bad choices.
“Gangs operate from like 9 p.m. until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. …prostitution, drug trade, partying, whatever other illegal activity, it’s happening (during) those hours,” said Mahmood.
“Not a ton of it is happening during the day time.”
He said the drop-in centre at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre closes at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.
“So from 10 p.m. until school starts, there’s nothing available for kids in our neighbourhood,” said Mahmood.
“The closest place is Rossbrook House, they’re only 24 hours on weekends.”
Rossbrook House, located on Ross Avenue, closes at midnight Monday to Thursday.
Mahmood said the event Wednesday was about “developing tangible projects” that will be taken to different levels of government and charitable groups for funding.
“If we don’t have 24-hour drop-ins, then they’re going to have to deal with the gang problem forever,” he said.
“Because we can’t be on the street when kids are working, then how can we expect to solve the problem?”
Alternate ways of providing round-the-clock support could be safe houses for kids who are exiting gangs, said Mahmood.
However, Mahmood said the problem won’t be solved simply by “just one 24-hour drop-in in our neighbourhood.”
“It’s about a collaborative network of resources 24 hours a day,” he said.
Tammy Christensen, executive director of the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre, said getting involved in gangs is a “long process.”
Ndinawe runs a drop-in on Selkirk Avenue and also has an emergency shelter with 16 beds where youths can go.
“It’s, a lot of times, based on a basic need,” said Christensen.
“Basic needs are not being met, whether it’s housing, whether it’s food, whether it’s just that connection to other people,” she said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2012 B3
Winnipeg group aims to gang up on gangs
GAIN groups agencies into three cogwheels – prevention, suppression, and intervention – that work together
WHY GET INVOLVED?
Nine years ago Floyd Wiebe’s son T.J. was brutally beaten, injected with Drano, choked, stabbed, and left naked to die in a frozen ditch outside Winnipeg.
“I became a victim advocate at that point and an educator of drug awareness,” said Wiebe, a former GAIN co-chair and the executive director of Gang Awareness for Parents.
At the kickoff for GAIN Wednesday, Wiebe said spending money to expand jails is not a solution to gang crime.
“We need to spend our tax dollars on prevention and suppression…it totally makes sense.”
More about Gangs:
The Hells Angels expanded into Manitoba in 2000 after incorporating local biker gang Los Bravos.
It took three major police investigations/raids, called Project Defence, Project Drill and Project Divide, to execute warrants against most of the Manitoba chapter of the Hells Angels, ending in 2009.The Rock Machine
Originally formed in 1986 in Quebec, the gang would become involved in the Quebec Biker War lasting from 1994 to 2002. Innocent bystanders were among the 160 who were killed during that period. Absorbed into the Banditos biker gang, the Rock Machine broke away in 2007 to
re-form as an independent group.Associated with the drug trade, the gang has moved into Manitoba and now Winnipeg in an attempt to take over the void left by the Hells Angels. metroRedlined
Commonly referred to as the Redlined Support Crew, this is a puppet gang of the Hells Angels.Redlined formed recently, only within the past year.It has clashed with Rock Machine members in the past in Winnipeg, including one incident where a member of the Rock Machine was lured into a St. Mary’s Road store late last year and beaten by Hells Angels members with a stool.
Posted by Sarah Klein
Members who make up the Gang Action Interagency Network (GAIN) will come together in Winnipeg today for a workshop to take the next step to ending youth involvement in street gangs.
The workshop — made up of 125 people — will bring organizations and agencies already involved in prevention, intervention and suppression of gang activities in Manitoba together, in order to develop a “Made-in-Manitoba” action plan. GAIN will also collaborate with governing bodies and school divisions to achieve a diverse and expansive perspective.
“We owe it to the youth of Winnipeg to come together and address the gang problem as a collective, and determine collective solutions,” said Jamil Mahmood, executive director of Spence Neighbourhood Association, and a member of GAIN. “Not one organization or group can solve the gang problem alone, and Winnipeg has a wealth of expertise to share.”
GAIN will meet at the Aboriginal Centre on Higgins Avenue at 9 a.m.