Press Coverage

CBC – Sept. 17, 2014 – Long – 5:30 pm

CBC – Sept. 17, 2014 – Short – 11:00


CJOB – Sept. 17, 2014

CTV – Sept. 17, 2014

Winnipeg Sun – Sept. 18, 2014

winnipeg sunPutting a stop to gangs



Graffiti filer

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.”

Twitter: @LarkinsWSun

Metro – Sept. 18, 2014

Report recommends tangible steps to keeping kids away from gang life

CJOB – Richard Cloutier – April 23, 2013

CTV – April 13, 2013

Winnipeg Sun – March 9, 2013

Gangs run ‘like a business’



Manitoba Warriors gang sign
The Manitoba Warriors gang sign. (Winnipeg Sun)

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.


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


Over a hundred people from various agencies will put their heads together to try and come up with tactics for dealing with Manitoba’s gang problem. We find out what’s on the agenda.


Anti-gang group runs for awareness

By  ,Winnipeg Sun

First posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 06:42 PM CDT

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. Photo JASON HALSTEAD/Winnipeg Sun/09/18/11

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

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press Jamil Mahmood says there’s a need for a 24-hour drop-in centre for kids in the West End.

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


Floyd Wiebe of Gang Awareness for Parents speaks to media at the kickoff for GAIN yesterday. Sean Ledwich/Metro Winnipeg



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.”

A gang prevention workshop meets during GAIN’s kickoff at the Aboriginal Centre yesterday. – Sean Ledwich/Metro Winnipeg


An anti-gang initiative involving more than two dozen Winnipeg agencies got underway Wednesday with workshops at the Aboriginal Centre.The Gang Action Interagency Network (GAIN), two years in the making, is a new non-governmental umbrella group for agencies focused on combating youth involvement in street gangs.GAIN co-chair Jamil Mahmood said the network will “bring groups together, link frameworks and identify key areas we can work in to prevent gangs.”About 125 people spent Wednesday in workshops related to each of the anti-gang cogwheel groups.The three agency groupings will meet separately each month, and as a whole every three months. Representatives from all three levels of government and the Winnipeg Police Service also attended the workshops.“Who should be at those tables, who should be developing those projects, which groups are best to take the lead?” Mahmood asked. “Those things are being flushed out today.”Police will not comment on how many gangs are in Winnipeg or how many youth are involved, but in an email Const. Jason Michalyshen wrote gangs are a “serious concern…gangs are all about making money and unfortunately at the expense of others.”Anyone wanting to help GAIN achieve its anti-gang goals can volunteer with an affiliated agency, Mahmood said, which are linked at

More about Gangs:

 Winnipeg is in trouble, gang expert says:
At least one expert says Winnipeg is starting to see the effects of a gang war with the recent house shootings.Jeff Pearce, author of the book Gangs in Canada, an investigative work looking into gang activity across the country, said if the shootings are all gang-related, Winnipeg is obviously in a rough spot.“You guys are in a heap of trouble,” said Pearce. “It’s one thing to have these various little groups that are fledgling organized-crime groups, but it’s another thing to have professional gangs who are very well organized and very sophisticated in their tactics.”Even though the Hells Angels are down in numbers in Winnipeg, it does not mean the Rock Machine will rule the city’s gang scene.As Pearce explained, “I would never say the Hells Angels are gone. They will come back.”
Is Winnipeg a gangster’s paradise?
Shootouts are becoming commonplace in Winnipeg because new gangs are moving in to fill the void left by the jailing of Hells Angels members, an expert says.Len Isnor is a detective sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police biker enforcement unit, and an expert on the Hells Angels. He praised the work done by the Winnipeg Police Service and RCMP over the last decade.“The boys have done a good job,” said Isnor. “Across this country, the Hells Angels have not had a monopoly like they used to, and it’s causing a lot of other little groups to pop up.”Earlier this week, Winnipeg police reluctantly confirmed the city is experiencing a crime wave related to escalating gang tensions. It’s believed to be a turf war between Quebec’s Rock Machine, a gang that has only recently moved into Winnipeg, and the Hells Angels-affiliated gang Redlined.While the Winnipeg Police Service politely turned down requests for interviews, Isnor said having fewer Angels on the streets means new rules.“Nobody was able to start a club, because if they started a club, the Hells Angels would be right there (saying), ‘Who said you could start a club? We never sanctioned you. We never sponsored you. If you’re going to have a club, you’re working for us.’”Sources, including a former gang member, have told Metro that members of both the Rock Machine and Redlined have approached drug dealers in the city and been asking about their loyalty.The former gang member asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.Calgary police Det. Doug Greaves said the fight for control over the drug trade can get violent.“Is that (violence) going to escalate to murder? We can’t predict that,” said Greaves.He added that he’s seeing a similar pattern in Edmonton.“There have been incidents of violence in the last year between (the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine), and I would imagine that as long as those two groups are there, there will be more violence.”GANG PROFILESThe Hells Angels
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.
Alleged gang member out on bail
Published: July 06, 2011
An alleged Winnipeg gang member accused of breaching his release conditions has been granted bail, despite arguments that he remain in custody because of mounting gang violence in the city.Jean Paul Beaumont, an allegedly high-ranking member of the Rock Machine, is charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle and possession of weapons.The 38-year-old man was released Tuesday, despite a prosecutor’s reference to a police organized crime unit report which suggests Beaumont stay locked up because of rising tension on the street.Trouble started surfacing last week with a number of shootings and firebombings involving the Hells Angels, their Redlined Support Crew and the Rock Machine.In one case, a 14-year-old boy who was an innocent bystander was wounded when bullets were fired into a residence.A war between the same two gangs in Quebec in the 1990s led to the deaths of more than 100 people.
Gang situation ‘very serious’
Published: July 06, 2011
A Lord Roberts-area shooting that left an innocent teen injured is linked to infighting between two warring outlaw biker gangs, Winnipeg police say.The Taft Crescent shooting, along with a number of other recent violent incidents, could be tied to an ongoing, apparently escalating conflict between the Rock Machine and Redlined motorcycle gangs.It is also one police, in court documents, have been quietly warning could spill over onto Winnipeg streets for about two years now.The 14-year-old victim of Monday’s shooting — which saw more than 20 shots slam into the front of a townhouse in the early morning — remains in hospital in stable condition.A bullet from a large-calibre gun struck the teen in the lower body, but police said he wasn’t targeted and was “caught in the crossfire.”Investigators are also continuing to investigate two other house-shooting incidents from last week that are linked to the same gang feud, said Const. Jason Michalyshen.Michalyshen added the seriousness of the situation has prompted the force to take swift action to try and ensure cooler heads prevail.“We’re closely monitoring these situations … these incidents are happening in quiet communities…. The impact this is having on families, young people, is something that all members of the public need to be aware of,” he said.“From our perspective, it’s escalated enough.”He declined to state what measures police are taking to try and suppress the violence, saying it would be “bad advertising” to discuss operational tactics.“It’s very serious. It’s important that members of the public trust in us that we are out there.”Michalyshen asked the public to report all suspicious activity. “In light of what’s taken place, we will be dispatching … numerous resources,” he said.


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.