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Police consider new ways to tackle gang problem
Published Thursday, July 24, 2008 5:29PM MDT
Calgary police are looking at new ways to tackle the city's growing gang problem.
Police say they are considering public notification of known gang members when public safety is an issue. "It's really only reserved for those cases where there's an imminent threat...we may in that circumstance make that information public so the public could take whatever steps they could to safeguard their safety," says Deputy Chief, Murray Stooke from the Calgary Police Service.
The suggestion of releasing names and photos into the public has raised some concerns over privacy.
But the province's privacy commissioner says it should not be an issue as long as the same rules are followed.
Right now, police can release photos of high-risk sex offenders when they are released from prison or offenders wanted on Canada-wide warrants. Releasing photos of known gang members would mean conducting a thorough threat assessment and notifying the gang member.
Calgary police are hoping provincial law makers will give them more power to seize vehicles when an illegal handgun is found inside. Currently, police can seize vehicles of Johns soliciting prostitutes or cars involved in street racing.
Liberal MLA Kent Hehr supports the car seizure option and is lobbying the province for the change in legislation. "Let's take the car, hit them in the pocketbook - these cars are $50,000 to $60,000 - if they're driving around with a gun let's take that car and seize it and sell it," suggests Hehr.
Hehr is a victim of a random shooting, which left him a quadriplegic.