Police hope to seize illegal guns from gangsters by encouraging their friends, family, associates or even their rivals and lovers to rat them out.
The new “Cash for Guns” campaign highlights the up to $2,000 reward that anonymous tipsters could get by calling Crime Stoppers to report an illegal firearm.
The move comes in the wake of a long string of recent shooting incidents in Surrey linked to gang activity.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis she doesn’t care if feuding gangsters blow the whistle on each other.
“The caller’s motivation doesn’t matter,” she said. “All we want is the anonymous tip as to who has the guns, and how police might find how it might be found and seize them.”
When a gang member or criminal has a gun, she said, someone usually knows and it could be a parent or sibling, wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, associate or rival, or maybe a server in a restaurant or club.
“People may personally know individuals with these guns, but because they’re close, they may think it’s too risky to speak out and do something about it,” Annis said. “We’re giving them the way to get past that.”
She said the goal is to help police get at least 500 illegal guns off the street over the next year.