HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Poll Shows Few Link Daily Crime To Gangs
Pubdate: Fri, 10 Sep 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Chad Skelton
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


B.C. residents' concerns about organized crime are growing, but many
still see little connection between gangs and their everyday lives, a
recent poll commissioned by the RCMP suggests.

Sixty per cent of B.C. residents surveyed in the poll last spring said
they believe organized crime is behind at least half of all crime
committed in the province -- up from 53 per cent who blamed organized
crime in a poll taken the year before.

But, when asked about specific crimes, B.C. residents were far less
confident that there is a link.

For example, only 10 per cent of those surveyed said they associated
marijuana-growing operations with organized crime -- despite the fact
that police say Vietnamese gangs control the vast majority of growing

B.C. residents were more confident of a link between car theft and
organized crime (32 per cent).

Yet most cars stolen in B.C. are taken by joyriders or drug addicts
who use them to commit other crimes -- and more than 90 per cent of
the vehicles are eventually recovered.

Insp. Andy Richards, a biker-gang expert with the Combined Forces
Special Enforcement Unit, said many people do not realize the impact
organized crime has on their lives.

"But if you analyze the crime situation in B.C., you can clearly see
the impact that it has," he said.

Organized crime, for example, fuels the drug trade in B.C.

"And the fallout from that affects people every day -- whether or not
they get their car broken into five times in the course of six months,
or they get their car stolen in Surrey, or a member of their family is
drug-addicted," Richards said.

The RCMP commissioned Synovate Research to conduct the survey of 500
B.C. residents in March of this year. A similar survey was conducted a
year earlier.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20.


A poll of B.C. residents by the RCMP found heightened concerns about
crime groups.

My fear of organized crime has increased in the last year:

Organized crime is involved in which illegal activities:

Drugs: 77%

Car theft: 32%

Marijuana-growing: 10%

At least half of all crime in B.C.: 60%

Who does a good job protecting you from organized crime?

The police: 42%

Laws: 13%

The courts: 11%

The poll is based on a survey of 500 B.C. adults in March 2004 and has
a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Source: Synovate Research, Vancouver Sun
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