Surrey RCMP investigate a shooting in Newton. (File photo)

PSA ad campaign targets young women involved with gangs

Crime Stoppers campaign encourages girls to reject being lured into the gangster lifestyle

Young women in Surrey and elsewhere are being targeted by an advertising campaign launched by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers to encourage them to reject being lured into the gangster lifestyle

Ads will appear soon on about 500 billboards and bus shelters, and in restaurants, bars, gyms, fashion stores and in social media.

“Young girls oftentimes are attracted to the lifestyle. It’s an opportunity to kind of go to nice restaurants, get fancy clothes, you know, take great trips but they don’t realize the down side of getting involved with gang activity,” says Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis, who is also the executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

Are they not just dating gangsters, but actually becoming gangsters themselves?

“What happens is they are by default,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “So oftentimes their boyfriends who are gang members will ask them to run drugs for them, they’ll oftentimes ask them to carry their guns for them because they feel they would be less apt to be searched or checked for guns or for drugs, so they very quickly fall into that lifestyle and they’re not any different than their boyfriends who are gang members, they’re doing the same things which makes them just as guilty as their boyfriends.”

READ ALSO: Surrey restaurants’ new gangster-watch program launched

READ ALSO DOMESTIC SILENCE: Parents of Surrey gangsters won’t speak up

While a disproportionate number of shooting victims in Surrey are young South Asian men, Sukhi Sandhu of Wake Up recently told the Now-Leader that young women in that community are being lured into the gangster scene.

“In our research we have found females in our community, our younger females are also getting involved in this,” Sandhu said. “It’s becoming an increasing concern. They’re involved, there’s a culture divide at home, they’re looking for a sense of value, a sense of worth, and they find that with many of these and they get trapped. So we’re finding a lot more females that are also getting trapped in this lifestyle. Just sort of the glamorous aspect of it.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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