The DPD’s recently launched anti-gang team arrested 24 people last week, primarily for offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and for carrying weapons.
In an update posted Monday on the department’s social media channels, police said the violence suppression team is making good use of their automatic license plate readers, targeting people with a violent history or negative police contacts and looking for any lawful reason to pull those people over.
“We have a tip for those with negative police contacts in their past. If you’re driving through Delta, leave the weapons behind, and remember to signal before that lane change. Oh, and no littering. It’s amazing what catches our officers’ attention,” the department posted on Facebook.
Among the arrests the team made from May 26 to 29, police seized three prohibited weapons — all spring-assisted knives — during three different stops. Another suspect was quickly arrested with assistance from the DPD’s traffic unit after police responded to calls about a fight involving a bat. The man they arrested has a court date in July.
Police also ejected one group a local restaurant under the Inadmissible Patron Program.
“We made sure the bill got paid first,” police said on Facebook.
The DPD launched the violence suppression team on May 15. It’s focus is on intercepting any potential gang or related activity and acting as a deterrent through a high-profile presence in public spaces, such as along Scott Road and at popular restaurants.
The team also regularly checks on individuals who must abide by curfews and release conditions, and have stepped up visits to locations where gang members are known to frequent.
Since then, the team has come into contact with a number of known gang members and affiliates, seizing weapons (including a large sword from a driver “well known to police”), drugs and cash related to drug trafficking.
Those investigations are ongoing.
On May 12, the DPD announced that members of the violence suppression team have begun to use Axon body-worn cameras as a tool to help increase officer safety.
According to the device’s manufacturer, Axon, the board’s decision marks the first time that a front-line patrol police team in B.C. will be using body-worn cameras on a regular basis.