Is there a gang problem in Williams Lake’s Cariboo Interior region?
Depends on who you ask.
It also depends on the definition of what a gang is.
If you define a gang as a bunch of high school friends, cousins and associates who hang out together, then yes.
If you define a group of associates during a long period of time who organize complex conspiracies of criminal activities within the Cariboo, then no.
Unless you consider unorganized crime within a small group of youths with serious identity issues, social disenfranchised feelings of inadequacies and a powerless feeling of control over the future, then yes, we do have a problem.
How do we solve such an issue? First we must understand how such things arise in the first place.
Is it role playing to the point where someone actually gets hurt?
Is it the gun culture of the rebel outlaw that the sub-culture of society romanticizes?
Is it the lyrics of the thug rap music that glamourizes criminal activity, sexism and stereotypical racist ideologies?
Perhaps it’s anxious feelings of needing to fit in with peers?
Maybe it’s a defect in genetics, poor nutrition, or undiagnosed head trauma causing underdeveloped pre-frontal lobes that create people who get easily frustrated, have anger management issues, short attention spans and learning difficulties.
I say it’s none of these and all of these in various degrees, never mind the fact that even perfect healthy teens in perfectly healthy environments with good parents also tend to bow to peers and, yet, like to rebel.
It all depends on opportunities, interpersonal skills, but allows one to develop to one’s full potential without the need to be predatory in nature or defeat others in order to feel one has power over their lives.