CRIME REDUCTION 9
Crime is one evil that has been with the society from timeimmemorial. It is evident that the strategies for crime have beenchanging from time to time in response to the changing societystructure, as well as counter strategies. The problem of organizedgangs has been on the rise in major cities in the United States, aswell as in the growing rural areas. The native gangs in the provinceof Manitoba Canada has been a major problem to the law enforcers(Hallett et al, 2002). As a consequence of the criminal activities ofthese gangs, there are various crime reduction methods that areapplied to try and deal with these criminals. It is imperative topoint out that these criminal gangs recruit youths in the province,where they give them the hope for life (Covey, 2010). It has beensuggested that these gangs provide what the family fails to providefor the youths. For instance, the gangs provide a sense of belonging,housing, money and other social amenities. As a consequence, thesegang groups are able to attract the numerous poor and desperateyouths to the gang.
Whereas these native criminal gangs may seem to be helping thedesperate and unemployed youths in the province of Manitoba Canada,the truth is they soon orient these youths to criminal activitiessuch as robbery and prostitution. Criminology theories associatecrime with social factors such as poverty and material inequality inthe society. Race and religion have also been considered as some ofthe social factors that contribute to crime. Criminology theoriestend to provide the aspects of the law, the way they are brokenthrough criminal activities, and the solutions that are offered todeal with the criminals (Shanty & Mishra, 2012). In the provinceof Manitoba, there are various programs which have been designed tocounter the activities of the criminal gangs. It is estimated thatthere are over 40 criminal gangs in the province of Manitoba alone inCanada. Accordingly, these criminal gangs have a membership of over3000 people, a majority of whom are the youths. Contrary to popularopinion, these criminal gangs do not solely constitute of immigrantssuch as Africans and Asians, but are comprised of aboriginal peopleof Canada.
The number of gangs in Manitoba, Canada are said to be some of thehighest in the America region. There are various gangs such as theIndian Posse and the Manitoba Warriors. These are described by theWinnipeg Police Service Street Gang Unit as street gangs whocontinuously recruit people into their activities (Hallett et al,2002). The police unit also point out to the fact that the members ofthese groups are mostly aged between 15 and 29 years. The gangscomprise of members from any race or country. In other words, thestreet gangs are not discriminatory in terms of race or country oforigin. Due to the continuous recruitment of members to these gangs,it is argued that the numbers might be high than what is in therecords.
The Manitoba warriors has been the most notorious street gang in theprovince of Manitoba, Canada. This gang was formed in 1993 followingthe structure of the motorcycle gangs like the Los Brovos and HellsAngels (Chaiken, 2007). It is apparent that the gang has been asubject of interest to the law enforcement agencies due to its heavyinvolvement in drug trafficking and prostitution activities (Akers,2010). The gang has also attracted numerous youths, but research hasalso indicated that the gang has had members as old as 50 years. Thegroup largely been dealing with drugs such as cocaine. It is alsoevident that the group has been dealing with weapons, cash,ammunition and other criminal activities. The drug traffickingbusiness by the gang proved to be extremely lucrative (Proulx &Howard, 2011). It is surprising to note that the gangs had even dialline to order for drugs from their dealers. The street gang has beengrowing both in number and structure in the as they seek to enhancetheir criminal activities. More often than not, the gang has had tofight with other street gangs such as the Indian Posse over thecontrol of the streets.
It is imperative to point out that there has been numerousorganization that have come up to try and control the criminalactivities of these street gangs. However, the existing economic hardtimes and the prevalent varying social economic stratification hasmade it extremely difficult for the organizations to eliminate thegangs (Covey, 2010). The organizations, together with the members ofthe community and the police have developed programs, which are aimedat deterring native youths from joining these gangs. Additionally,the organizations have designed programs that are aimed atrehabilitating the youths who accept to leave the street gangs andoffer them support to build a constructive life.
The initial intentions of the gang was to protect the community inthe province of Manitoba against the harassment by other gangs. TheWarriors, as they were popularly known, would offer security inevents such as weddings and ensure democratic elections in theprovince. However, the activities of the gang were later to turnviolent and criminal. Such criminals are either punished,incarcerated or rehabilitated. G.R.A.S.P, is one the main programs inManitoba that the police of Winnipeg and the justice system developedin order to respond effectively to the problem of the street gangs(Proulx & Howard, 2011). Gang Suppression Response Plan, as it ispopularly known, has been extremely successful in dealing with theproblem of the street gangs. According to the criminology theories,this is the part of the theory where the law enforcement agenciesmust respond to criminal activities.
The Gang Suppression Response Plan (GRASP) was initiated in 2009 dueto the increasing cases of street gangs. This is a program that isaimed at critically supervising and monitoring all the members ofcriminal gangs in Manitoba who are released on bail or are onprobation. The main aim for the program is to ensure that theneighborhoods of all the Manitoba families are safe. It is imperativeto note that the program has been heavily funded by the government toensure that the streets of Manitoba are safe and secure for all thefamilies in the province of Manitoba in Canada (Sutherland &Sokal, 2011). The program, which is administered by the probationservice Manitoba prosecution service and the Winnipeg police service,has followed the structure and organization of the Winnipeg AutoTheft Suppression Strategy. This earlier program proved to beextremely successful, hence the need to develop a similar problem todeal with the problem of street gangs.
The Winnipeg police association has dedicated around 20 policeofficers to this program. Based on the strategy of the Winnipeg AutoTheft Suppression Strategy which reduced car theft by 75% with only16 officers, the GRASP was viewed as a success mission in waiting.The program aimed at targeting the main gangsters in the street gangsjust as the Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy targeted themain gangsters (Proulx & Howard, 2011). According to the Winnipegpolice association president Mike Sutherland, half of all the crimesoccur at Winnipeg are conducted by the street gangs. Therefore, itwas extremely imperative for the police and the justice system toensure that they put a program in place to deal with the extremitiesof these gang groups.
Research had indicated that the released former members of thecriminal gangs had been reverting back to their criminal activities.This program has largely been aimed at ensuring that the releasedformer gang member abide by the law and follow the directives thatwere given in the rulings. In an instance where the person onsupervision commits a crime, the officers are supposed to arrest himor her and take him or her back to prison (Proulx & Howard,2011). It is imperative for the Winnipeg police department and thejustice system to ensure that they involve the members of the publicin the program. It is imperative to note that the public is thevictim of the criminal activities of the gangs. Therefore, it isevident that the public will be willing and ready to provideinformation in regard to the activities of the criminal gangs.
Whereas the public might be extremely helpful to the law enforcersin combating crime, it is vital to point out that the police and thejustice system must treat the information given by the members of thepublic with confidentiality. The police must ensure that the publicis informed on the benefits of eliminating the street gangs. Theimplementers of such programs as the GRASP must seek the opinions ofthe members of the community. It is apparently clear that thesestreet gangs were initially conceived to be providing security to theresidents due to the inefficiencies of the police (Proulx &Howard, 2011). A vast majority of the people had believed in thegangs as a source of security. It is therefore vital for theimplementers of the GRASP program to seek the ideas of the communityin regard to the activities of the gangs. The members of the publiccan also be critical in the success of the program by pointing out tothe hideouts of the gangs.
On the contrary, the involvement of the community in such a programmight attract sympathy for the gang members by the members of thepublic. It is clear that some of the gang members are youths who areborn of parents in the same province. As a consequence, the communitymight not be willing to offer help to the law enforcers in dealingwith the illegal activities of the gang groups (Covey, 2010). Inother words, some members of the community tend to justify theactivities of the gang members. The police and the justice systemmust weigh the benefits and shortcomings of involving the public inthe implementation of the GRASP program. More often than not, thecommunity has been apprehensive in cooperating with the law enforcersto combat crime. Strategies such community policing were launched toenhance the cooperation between the police and the community incombating crime.
Whereas it may seem irrelevant to involve the public in the GRASPprogram, the truth is that the community must be involved in theprogram for it to succeed. The law enforcers must use the communityto gather information regarding the street gangs. The community canalso be used by the police as the supervisors of the gang members whoare released on bail or are on probation. If the members of thecommunity notice any form of illegal activity, they can be taskedwith the responsibility of reporting to the law enforcers (Sutherland& Sokal, 2011).
The Gang Suppression Response Plan is related to the criminologytheory by Paul Goldstein called the Tripartite Conceptual Framework.According to this criminology theory, criminal activities areassociated with drug abuse and drug trafficking. A majority of theyouths in the street gangs deal with illicit drug markets. Drug useand abuse is associated with violence and victimization. It isevident from this paper that the street gangs in Manitoba province ofCanada that the gangs are involved in drug trafficking activities(Shanty & Mishra, 2012). The criminology theories try to expoundon the nature, cause and counter strategies for criminal activities.The Gang Suppression Response Plan relates to the criminology theoryin that it is a form of counter strategy to deal with a criminalactivity.
The problem of crime has been escalating day in day out across theglobe. Furthermore, there are various forms of crime that aremanifest today. Among these forms, street gangs are main form ofcriminal organization. This has been manifest in the Manitobaprovince in Canada. Street gangs such the Warriors have beenterrorizing the neighborhoods in the Winnipeg city. The gangs startas a remedy to the security problems due to the lapses by the lawenforcers (Covey, 2010). However, as time goes by, they turn tocriminal activities such as drug trafficking, violence andprostitution. The gangs are also believed to be recruiting youthscontinuously which makes their activities a huge concern to thesecurity agencies. Programs such as the Gang Suppression ResponsePlan have been applied in Winnipeg city to try and control theactivities of these gangs.
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Proulx, C., & Howard, H. A. (2011). Aboriginal peoples inCanadian cities: Transformations and continuities. Waterloo,Ont: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
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