Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich is reaching out to South Asian families once again in an attempt to end the ongoing violence between two groups of young South Asians. He starts with making that connection today by holding a community gang forum at a local school.
The idea is to communicate to families what’s going on because the dynamic in this particular conflict (Townline Hill Conflict) is different from others. There are lots of people selling drugs in Abbotsford, and the violence is resulting from the conflict between two rival gangs, many of whose members are believed to be living with their families at home.
The forum is being held only in Punjabi because “the people we need to get to at this point are those who are trying to figure out how to raise their kids in Canada, generally speaking, and are still most comfortable in Punjabi,” said Chief Rich.
The second part of the strategy is “going to be to tell them that we are willing to come to their home,” said Rich.
Abbotsford Police have two Punjabi-speaking members that have been meeting with South Asian families and telling them: “Look, your 16-year-old son is hanging out with the wrong people. You need to know what’s going on. You need to intervene in your son’s life.” Rich added: “And they are getting a great reception from families who just wouldn’t know that otherwise.”
Rich said: “So we want to say to families if you want us to come to your house and talk to your family about what’s going on with your son, you ask us to come, we will come.
What concerns police here is that the recruitment of young South Asians is going on at a brisk pace and youth are being lured into joining one of the two gangs.
But it really shouldn’t be the job of the police to visit homes in order to counsel youth. It should be the responsibility of the family to be ever vigilant when it comes to their children and keep them engaged and occupied productively. – CINEWS