West Shore RCMP is tackling gang violence around restaurants and nightclubs with a new program, expected by summer 2020. The program will give the power to local business owners to deny or remove ‘inadmissible patrons’ through their doors. (Black Press Media file photo)

West Shore RCMP program targets gang presence at local bars and restaurants

Inadmissible patron program set to rollout by summer 2020

West Shore RCMP is rolling out a program that will give local businesses, such as restaurants and nightclubs, the power to deny entry or remove ‘inadmissible patrons’ at any time.

The growth of the Savages Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and the nearby Nanaimo Hells Angels may bring an increase to those connected to the drug trade and organized crime to the West Shore area, West Shore RCMP Sgt. Chris Boucher said at a Colwood city council meeting on Monday.

An ‘inadmissible person’ is described as someone who is a gang or organized crime member, with a history of serious criminal activity, firearms offences, or involvement in the drug trade.

The goal is to have something developed and implemented by summer 2020, Boucher told council.

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There is no cost to the businesses, as regular duty officers would respond to complaints. RCMP say the only requirement for local businesses would be to display the program policy near the entrance.

Notably, there were two shootings in the West Shore area in April 2019.

Both shootings weren’t fatal, but the suspects and targets had confirmed connections to the drug trade.

Local business owners aren’t expected to deal with suspicious individuals on their own.

Boucher noted that if they have concerns, they should call RCMP immediately. In fact, avoiding interaction with those individuals would be the best option.

According to the policy, staff or police are allowed to ask the customer to provide valid ID.

If patrons refuse, they are allowed to deny service or be asked to leave.

West Shore RCMP has partnered with the WestShore Chamber of Commerce to equip local businesses to understand the program details in the upcoming months.

Officials have also spoken to Langford and View Royal councils, and Colwood approved their support unanimously Monday.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


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