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Notorious Lower Mainland gang infiltrating Greater Victoria schools: Police

Saanich police say that the Brothers Keepers are recruiting in Victoria schools
The Saanich Police Department says Brothers Keepers, a gang based in the lower mainland with a history of drug trafficking and murder, is recruiting in Greater Victoria schools. (Photo courtesy of CFSEU-BC)

The Saanich Police Department says a notorious gang based in the Lower Mainland is attempting to infiltrate Greater Victoria schools.

According to Saanich police, the Metro Vancouver-based Brothers Keepers gang – with a history of drug trafficking and murder – is attempting to set up shop in Saanich schools, using the same recruitment strategy they use in the Lower Mainland.

In June 2023, the Greater Victoria School District police-liaison program was cut after the B.C. human rights commissioner Kasari Govender recommended the programs be ended after a study found that school officers made marginalized students feel less safe.

“Violence, selling of drugs, or any other illicit products, some intimidation, things like this, is being practiced more and more in these environments, because there’s a new vulnerability that they’re taking advantage of,” Saanich police Chief Dean Duthie said.

According to a 2020 news release from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C., a provincial anti-gang police agency, the Brothers Keepers first emerged within the B.C. gang landscape in 2017 and were immediately in conflict with rival gangs such as the Wolfpack and the Hells Angels.

“This conflict resulted in violence manifesting on streets and in communities across the province,” noted the release.

Mark Jenkins, a former school liaison officer, says there are about 50 Brothers Keepers members and associates currently in Greater Victoria as an attempt at expanding business into the South Island.

“They just know how to get our kids attention. It’s through vape products, through high-end clothing, knowing what to say to these kids, how to connect to these kids,” Jenkins said. “These gangs are good at what they do, and our kids are at risk. We’ve seen it in Saanich, we’re seeing it in Victoria.”

Duthie said the the department is trying to curb the ongoing gang infiltration, however, they continue to face hurdles without an ongoing police presence in schools.

“This is an issue that we have been very aware of and been dealing with for years, the gang presence and threat of infiltrating a school environment is not a new phenomenon, but in the past, it’s been able to be quickly recognized and responded to by police who are working very closely within the schools,” he said.

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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