Back in March, police in Metro Vancouver found themselves investigating three separate shootings in an eight hour period. This seems to be the new normal, almost like it was New York City in the 70s. Hardly a week passes without some drug-related shootings. The police come in only to find victims who remain very uncooperative as they themselves are criminals deep in the drug trade, they are known to police and have extensive rap sheets. So it
is impossible to solve these drug-related shootings which continue unabated. This weekend more gang-related shootings in Surrey prompted an exasperated Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner to look into getting the power to force gangsters to pay their own medical bills.
Hepner perhaps won’t get her way but her suggestion has a lot of people agreeing with her. She says known gangsters who are shot, but refuse to co-operate with the police, should be held liable for their own medical costs.
She also said she will be talking to B.C.’s attorney general to see if the current civil forfeiture legislation could be employed in this way.
There are dozens of South Asians involved in the lucrative drug trade, turf wars are common and members of the community could well end up being unintended victims of random shootings that can happen anywhere. In the past there have been shootings in malls, in front of homes and on streets filled with people.
Summer is traditionally when crime goes up and the drug-related war seems to be at its peak. It must be really frustrating for the police to find victims uncooperative because the cases aren’t being solved. The bad guys can’t be put away and the same victim of a shooting, could get publically-funded world class treatment for his wounds and walk out of hospital only to plot a revenge shooting. In weeks or months, the people who shot him could well be the victims being treated at taxpayers cost and the cycle of violence continues.