The Justice Department is at it again; promoting themselves in the mass media attempting to convince us we are safe. This time they are grandstanding a few arrests of alleged gang members. MS-13 is recruiting over 300 people per week in cities across Canada. Recently the Justice Department held a huge press conference, claiming that in a two-week period they arrested 582 people. Now then if the MS-13 gang is recruiting 300 people per week and the caught 582 in two-weeks then they are 18 gang members in the rear for that two-week period alone. Most of the offenders, gang members were said to be picked up between July 16 and July 28, other arrests followed after search and seizures of evidence was taken. Do not get me wrong it is great to catch these drug sellers, thieves and felons, but at a growth rate of 300 per week and an estimated 10,000 members and growing MS-13 is hardly under control; it more resembles a wildfire nearing its maturity.
Crime amongst young people is on the increase. It means doing something that is against the law and can lead to serious consequences, such as a prison sentence. Fear of becoming the victim of crime is also on the increase and is often a contributing factor to young people getting involved in criminal behavior. This often involves carrying knives or other weapons and becoming members of gangs for protection. This often creates further difficulties, as young gang members may be forced to engage in other forms of criminal behavior such as taking or selling drugs, vandalism, shop lifting, burglary and physically assaulting members of the public or rival gangs.
Gangs put a lot of pressure on young people to join them. This often takes the form of bullying and threats, as well as promoting protection amongst team members. Young people often feel a sense of belonging when they join gangs. Unfortunately, they are also forced to take part in criminal behavior with serious consequences. Young people can get physically hurt or arrested and end up in the criminal justice system.
If you are worried about getting in trouble or someone has committed a crime against you, you must tell someone straight way, whether a teacher, parent, carer or the police. There are also a number of community projects and voluntary organizations which provide information and support to young people. For example, they provide confidential advice on the personal and legal consequences of drug taking, possession and selling.
Gang members rely on fear and intimidation of others to establish their territory. When someone aligns themselves with their issues (territory, rights, etc.), that individual begins involvement in gang activities. Mimicking the dress codes of gang members is a signal of willingness. Engaging in prohibited behaviors (smoking, drug use, cutting classes, defying authority) at school is another signal of willingness.