Crime prevention

Research partnership takes unique approach to reducing youth gang violence

Date published: 2012-01-25 12:00:00 PM

"This research gives us the academic foundation we need to build our prevention, intervention and enforcement strategies. This is the future of law enforcement when it comes to gangs and gang violence."
—Sergeant Shinder Kirk, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – Gang Task Force

The Acting Together research partnership—based in Surrey, BC—is putting research on gang violence into the hands of frontline responders.

This project, with partners that include the RCMP, BC’s Gang Task Force and the City of Surrey, is tracking 600 youth (many considered “at risk”) over three years, looking at why they are NOT involved in violent and gang-related crime.

This unique approach, which focuses on youth who reject gangs, is providing partners and government—including BC’s Victim Services and Crime Prevention Ministry—with the research needed to guide crime-reduction strategies.

And, word is spreading. Besides helping youth in Surrey, project lead Gira Bhatt of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, officers from BC’s Gang Task Force and partners from the local school district, have taken their message across Canada and into the US, bringing the benefits of this “made-in-BC” solution to other communities that need it.