We can do something about organized crime
Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 06:00 am
Many Albertans, when they hear the name Hells Angels, get the mental image of greasy, pot-bellied bikers yelling and tearing around town on motorcycles, terrorizing the local populace.
That is not what the modern Hells Angels organization represents. The Hells Angels have become a relatively sophisticated organized crime group, which generates most of its revenue through drug dealing, and St. Albertans should be aware of this famous criminal gang because the gang’s eye seems to be on St. Albert.
Police raided a home in a fairly affluent neighbourhood across from Eldorado Park last week, and the raid revealed weapons, illegal drugs, a pile of cash and someone’s “colours.” The outlaw bike gang’s jacket patch is no different in the world of organized crime than a Russian mobster’s tattoos.
St. Albert RCMP Sgt. Carolyn Cameron lived in Langley, B.C., where the Hells Angels are infamous for claiming “ownership” of part of the city. Forget the fallacy of, “Well, there’s no crime in a neighbourhood with bikers.”
There’s plenty of crime, and it follows the bikers. Where a neighbourhood might have had vandalism and theft before, it is now susceptible to shootings as gang members settle scores.
She said organized crime groups like the Hells Angels want money. That’s the only reason they move into an area. Cameron noted to the Gazette Friday the Hells Angels moved into nice neighbourhoods in B.C., not grungy areas on the edge of town.
The Hells Angels, like all organized crime groups, love it when their name inspires fear. And like all organized crime groups, they like to set up shop in communities that are in denial that such criminal activity could take place within its borders.
Cameron said an observant community is the best way to combat organized crime. While people can simply keep an eye on their neighbourhood by observing odd behaviour, the City of St. Albert has an excellent way to keep the Hells Angels out of the city.
Neighbourhood block parties, co-sponsored by Neighbourhood Watch and Citizen’s Patrol, provide free food for summer or winter parties. Other equipment is also available. The city provides lots of resources for this program, so it costs little or no money for neighbours to organize. Start your party online at www.stalbert.ca/block-party-information or call FCSS at 780-459-1756. Get to know your neighbours and at the same time protect St. Albert from organized crime.
Anyone who thinks a pleasant, peaceful city like St. Albert couldn’t possibly be a haven for a gang like the Hells Angels should clip and save this comment from Supt. Brian Cantera, officer in charge of the RCMP drug enforcement branch in B.C.: “The complete disregard this group showed for Canadian families and public safety, both of which pay the devastating price exacted by drugs for criminal profit, should be of grave concern for all of us.”