RCMP in Surrey, B.C., have taken the unusual step of releasing the names and photographs of men it alleges are contributing to a gang war that has resulted in at least 16 shootings in the city, and three in Delta since March 9.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Supt. Bill Fordy stood beside a poster board with the likenesses of the men allegedly involved in the violence, with most described as victims.
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He said two different groups of South Asian and Somalian descent that are involved in low-level drug trafficking are engaged in a turf war.
So far, RCMP have only managed to arrest Delta resident Arman Dhatt, who is charged with 12 firearms and drug trafficking offences.
Police get list of excuses
Despite community involvement and overt and covert enforcement tactics, police says one of their biggest problems is the alleged lack of co-operation from the individuals who have been shot.
Fordy provided a list of some of their responses, including.
- "The bullets fell from the sky."
- "I will take care of it myself."
- "Don't you worry about it ... no need for you cops to be here."
He said one of the victims even admitted to knowing who did the shooting and the motive, but refused to tell police.
Fordy said this lack of co-operation is compromising their ability to make arrests.
"We are disappointed with the lack of co-operation from the victims and we know the community is frustrated as well," he said.
"Today, I again appeal to the family, friends and those of you who know any of the people pictured here. We need information on their whereabouts, their connections and their activities."
RCMP have released a list of 13 individuals. The first eight are new names not previously released by police. The other five are names police first released on March 12.