Langford, BC – In light of the escalating crime and the threat of gang recruitment targeting youth in the Westshore region of South Vancouver Island, BC United candidate Elena Lawson, a passionate advocate for community safety, is calling out the negligence of the NDP government and demanding the establishment of a gang prevention program for the Westshore.
“Over the past few months, the Westshore has witnessed an alarming 16% increase in violent crimes, a 33% increase in property crimes and a surge in youth violence incidents. Astonishingly, despite being aware of the growing violence of youth gangs on the Westshore since 2018, the NDP has shown a concerning lack of response,” says Lawson. “The region’s School Board Chair who is also the NDP candidate, has remained silent, failing to take any meaningful steps to curb the influence of gang activity within the schools of the region.”
Elena is calling for dedicated provincial funding for youth gang prevention programs, specifically for the Westshore. Yesterday, the Province announced an underwhelming year of funding when this issue is clearly much larger. The NDP is playing politics and blatantly disregarding the safety and well-being of the South Island community’s youth. With local police ringing alarms, schools in the area are so concerned that they released a letter to parents highlighting the growing issue and encouraging them to ensure their children’s safety.
“It is unconscionable that this NDP government has turned a blind eye to the escalating gang recruitment on the Westshore. Our children are being targeted, and the NDP’s lack of action is an abandonment of their responsibility to protect this community and their families,” Lawson added. “As the school board chair has failed to act, it is imperative for the Premier to take swift action by establishing a comprehensive gang prevention program in South Island schools, with a particular emphasis on the Westshore. The time for inaction is over – our children’s wellbeing is at stake.”