Key Indicators of Youth Gang Involvement in BC.

Key Indicators of
Youth Gang Involvement in BC.

While unexplained cash and multiple phones may hint at gang involvement, they are merely elements of a larger, intricate network of illicit activities. Be equipped to read these signals to steer your child away from the hazardous labyrinth of gang life.

While unexplained cash and multiple phones may hint at gang involvement, they are merely elements of a larger, intricate network of illicit activities. 

Arm yourself to recognize key signs to prevent your child's involvement in dangerous gang activities..

Arm yourself with the ability
to discern these signs, aiding
in the prevention of your child's
descent into the perilous maze
of gang activities.

At a Glance.

Understanding these four signs is a crucial step towards identifying and addressing gang involvement.

Key Indicators of Youth Gang Involvement in BC — Key Indicators of Youth Gang Involvement in BC — Key Indicators of Youth Gang Involvement in BC —

Signals Circling
Gang Involvement Among
BC's Youth.

Signals Circling Gang Involvement Among BC's Youth.

Each indicator on its own might not point to illicit activities, but if found in combination, it is a cause for concern that warrants open discussion and possibly intervention.

Current Trends of
Gang Involved Youth.

Current Trends of Gang Involved Youth.

Recognizing signs of gang involvement is crucial in protecting our youth today. Individually, unexplained cash, multiple phones, small baggies, and digital scales might not raise alarms, but together, they signal potential danger.

The temptation of vaping products and designer items can trap teens in illegal activities and debt, with gang influences often hidden behind these transactions. Staying informed and proactive is key to safeguarding our youth from gang-related risks.

Recognizing signs of gang involvement is crucial in protecting our youth today. Individually, unexplained cash, multiple phones, small baggies, and digital scales might not raise alarms, but together, they signal potential danger.

Increasingly, youth are being approached at or after school by fellow students or young adults to sell vaping products. This has become yet another way that youth are becoming indebted to others who are connected to gang and criminal activity and this often leads to greater entrenchment into a more serious criminal lifestyle. This may not seem like gang-related activity; however, the sales are done on behalf of a sometimes unknown gang member and is fueling gang-related enterprises. These particular students become indebted to the gang and have to continuously sell these products in order to make back the money they owe. Youth need to understand that this is risky behaviour and they are increasingly being subjected to violence.

The promises of expensive clothing, electronics, or products that are youth might otherwise be unable to afford has always been a significant recruiting tool used by gangs.

Youth are often lured into joining gangs or selling products by being told that if they complete a job or task for the person or group that they will be paid in high end expensive clothing, jewelry, shoes, electronics, travel, or even services like haircuts.

If your child suddenly possesses these costly items without reasonable explanation, it may indicate a cause for concern. Communicate openly with your child if you notice them with these expensive products that you know are outside of their ability to afford them.

Youth are increasingly recruited by peers to sell vaping products, a practice linked to gang debt and crime.

Obligated to repay through continuous sales, they’re unknowingly supporting gang enterprises.

It’s vital for teens to see the risks and potential for violence in such activities.

Gangs often entice teens with high-end items as rewards for tasks, leading to potential involvement in illegal activities.

Be alert if your child has expensive items they normally couldn’t afford, as it could hint at concerning affiliations.

It’s crucial to talk with your child about the origins of such goods.

If you are ready to leave gang life behind,
there is help available for you.

Reach Out
with the Gang Intervention
and Exiting Team.

Helpline: 604-897-6023
gangintervention@cfseu.bc.ca

Understanding Illicit Earnings

Large amounts of money, usually in smaller denominations that your child may suddenly possess without a clear source.

It is important to understand that any legitimate job provides a paystub or form of payment record.

Often, teenagers involved in gang activities may claim to be working part-time jobs or doing odd jobs for neighbours or friends.

While this is a common practice among teens looking to earn money, it is important to confirm the source of their earnings. If they are unable to do so, the unexplained cash could indicate involvement in illegal activities, such as drug trafficking.

Dialing into a Dangerous Path

These phones are often referred to as “burner phones,” and can be a clear indicator of gang activity. Gangs often use burner phones for illicit activities such as drug trafficking, organized crime and evading police surveillance.

Burner phones are easily disposable, untraceable and allow users to maintain separate lines of communication, making them an attractive tool for organized crime groups.

Recognizing the signs of potential gang involvement, such as the possession of multiple cell phones, is a significant step towards preventing our youth from straying down a dangerous path.

Tiny Baggies, Big Concerns

Small baggies, often tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, are commonly used in the illegal drug trade.

Dealers use these baggies to portion out and distribute drugs because they are inexpensive, disposable, and easily concealed. If you find these baggies in your child’s possession and they cannot provide a plausible explanation for them, it could indicate involvement in low-level drug trafficking.

Remember, finding a single baggie might not be a reason for alarm; it could be used to store small items like jewelry or pills.

However, finding multiple baggies, especially alongside other concerning signs such as unexplained cash or multiple phones, should raise concern.

Weighing the Evidence

Digital scales, especially those capable of measuring small quantities with high accuracy, are often used in the illegal drug trade for portioning and pricing substances.

If your child possesses such a scale and cannot provide a reasonable explanation for its use, it is possible that they are involved in drug trafficking. It is important to note that digital scales alone may not be cause for alarm.

Many hobbies and activities could require their use; for instance, they may be used for cooking and science experiments. What is concerning is when a digital scale is found alongside other signs of potential gang activity, for example, unexplained cash, multiple phones, or small baggies.

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Double Phones, Double Trouble

These phones are often referred to as “burner phones,” and can be a clear indicator of gang activity. Gangs often use burner phones for illicit activities such as drug trafficking, organized crime and evading police surveillance.

Burner phones are easily disposable, untraceable and allow users to maintain separate lines of communication, making them an attractive tool for organized crime groups.

Recognizing the signs of potential gang involvement, such as the possession of multiple cell phones, is a significant step towards preventing our youth from straying down a dangerous path.

Hidden Bills, Hidden Dangers

Large amounts of money, usually in smaller denominations that your child may suddenly possess without a clear source.

It is important to understand that any legitimate job provides a paystub or form of payment record. Often, teenagers involved in gang activities may claim to be working part-time jobs or doing odd jobs for neighbours or friends.

While this is a common practice among teens looking to earn money, it is important to confirm the source of their earnings. If they are unable to do so, the unexplained cash could indicate involvement in illegal activities, such as drug trafficking.

You play an important role in Understanding Youth in Gangs. Gangs and Organized Crime impact every community in British Columbia. By working together, we can collectively stop recruitment, and reduce violence.
Get in Touch
+61 403 743 000
inquires@cfseu.bc.ca