Friday, August 28, 2009

Kelowna bans gang colours

Kelowna takes bar watch one step further and bans gang colours in any public business:

This is good. It is one step closer to the New York model everyone talks about without knowing what it was.
Banning gang colours in bars and nightclubs is a clear step forward. Recording everyone's photo ID is something I'm not sure I'm OK with. First there's the privacy issue, big brother watching our every move. Then there's the other aspect of the privacy issue. What's to prevent a gang from getting the list of other gang members or public individuals to mark and harass?

Let's face it, Ian Grant was a Hells Angel in Winnipeg and a confidential police file was found in his home listing all the names, addresses and next of kin to all the Hells Angels and their rivals in Winnipeg. If the Hells Angels can get a copy of a confidential RCMP file what's stopping them from getting a list of names and addresses of people who visit a particular bar. Especially if the bar is owned by Hells Angels.
Likely the intent of collecting ID is to ban known gang members from attending bars period even if they aren't wearing colours. That is a noble quest. Just problematic.

Nevertheless, banning gang colours in bars and nightclubs is a good thing. Taking that one step further and banning them from all public businesses in Kelowna is a good thing. The intent is to stop the intimidation simply wearing gang colours conveys. These gangs are not lawful organizations they are known drug dealers fighting over the drug trade.

One problem is how do you tell someone they have to leave their tattoo outside? Independent Soldiers have the gangs name tattooed on their forearms. Will Kelowna ban them from wearing short sleeve t-shirts in public businesses? If they do I applaud them. If someone gets a gang tattoo and shows that off in a business, they do that to threaten and intimidate:
Banning them from the premises is a good way to start cleaning up the mess by taking out the garbage.