Beginning in the late 1990s, there was a serious increase in violent, illegal gang activity and organized crime in the province of British Columbia, Canada, which was linked to the highly lucrative production and trade of marijuana for weapons, cocaine, and other illegal commodities. From 2005, gang wars triggered unprecedented rates of gun violence and homicides throughout Vancouver, the British Columbia Lower Mainland, and the Fraser Valley. Even though the homicide rates were lower compared to the gang violence

Introduction 117 Learning from American Gang Violence and Homicides 119 Rise of Gangs in British Columbia: A Closer Look 121 Abbotsford Context 122

Strategy One: Education and Awareness for Gang Suppression 124 Strategy Two: Inform and Mobilize the Community 130 Strategy Three: Intervention to Create Change 131 Strategy Four: Enforcement-Oriented Prevention 132

Lessons Learned 140 Looking to the Future 145 Conclusion 147 References 148

that escalated in many large American cities in the 1990s, it nevertheless created an alarming situation in which public safety was seriously at risk and innocent people were losing their lives.