VICTORIA – RCMP and municipal police officers and members of the
Organized Crime Agency are teaming up to form the country’s first provincewide
organized crime unit, Solicitor General John Les announced today.
The Combined Forces
Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) is an integrated team of police officers and
other government agencies with a mandate to expose, investigate, prosecute,
dismantle, and disrupt organized crime.
“There are integrated organized crime units in Ontario and Quebec, but these are regional or city-based,” Les said. “This new provincewide unit sets the standard for other provinces, and allows us to take effective action to deal with sophisticated and well-financed criminal networks.”
The CFSEU is made up of 95 municipal and RCMP officers from around the province, as well as personnel from the Organized Crime Agency. The unit will be based in the Lower Mainland with a satellite office in Victoria. By consolidating RCMP and provincial resources, the creation of the CFSEU frees up an additional $4 million to fight organized crime.
“This collaborative approach to fighting organized crime will allow us to reach out across jurisdictions, sharing intelligence as well as enforcement resources,” said Deputy Commissioner Bev Busson, RCMP Commanding Officer for British Columbia. “The unit is a perfect example of the kind of integrated policing approach we need to deal with the changing face of crime in B.C., and across the country.”
At a meeting of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police last week, a memorandum of understanding was signed to formally recognize the new unit, which has been operating since last year.
“What is proving very effective in battling organized crime is an integrated and shared approach by law enforcement,” said Marianne Ryan, Chief Officer of CFSEU-BC. “Fighting a network of crime requires a network approach by police and that is what is happening in British Columbia.”
The unit is another step in B.C.’s strategy to target organized crime. The Province recently set up the 60-member Integrated Gang Task Force, to investigate gangs and gang-related crime in the province, and also introduced civil forfeiture legislation that will allow government to seize the assets of organized criminals and gang members.
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
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