Saturday, July 16, 2011

Winnipeg police warn public about biker gang feud

Winnipeg police warn public about biker gang feud - CTV News
Winnipeg police are canvassing neighbourhoods where they believe members of biker gangs live, going door-to-door to give residents information about the biker gang war that's swept the city in recent weeks.

Since mid-June, police have responded to more than a dozen biker-gang-related incidents, including a firebombing at a tattoo parlour and a shooting that left a 14-year-old boy injured.

Police believe the wave of violence is connected to a feud between rival gangs the Rock Machine and the Hells Angel's Redlined Support Crew.

On Tuesday, police cruisers surrounded a rental bungalow in the city's northwest end after reports of shots were heard in the area. Two weeks ago, the same house was shot at.

This week, a family who was supposed to move into that house came forward after their van was burned. The mother and daughter said they were targeted as part of the ongoing biker feud.

"(My mother) smelled something so she looked inside and she noticed that my window was yellow and I just finished opening the door. She said ‘quick, shut it,'" the daughter told CTV Winnipeg.

Officers said the public will see an increased police presence in neighbourhoods however they did not specify which areas of the city will be part of the public-notification campaign.

In a statement released on Friday, the city's police said "officers will discuss with residents the unlikely potential of gang related violence in their community."

The goal, police said is to keep the public abreast of what's going on and to keep them safe.

Police spokesperson Const. Jason Michalsehn told CTV Winnipeg the intent is not to spread fear.

"We don't want to create panic. We don't want to create, you know, undue stress on individuals. We want to empower them with information," he said.

"I think there is an obligation as a police service that we have to put this information forward as uncomfortable as of this information might be from time to time."

Winnipeg police is also asking the public to report anything suspicious