abbypd-stockConstable Ian MacDonald from the Abbotsford Police says Wednesday’s forum will not only address the current violence among youth in West Abbotsford, but will also hopefully help parents and community members find ways to prevent things from getting worse.

He says the growing violence is a concern, saying it’s escalated from acts of vandalism.

“I think any time you have young people putting themselves in harm’s way, making bad decisions, and ultimately being transported off to hospital as a result of conflict, that’s enough reason for the community to be concerned. And we certainly hope that it’s a motivating factor to have Punjabi speaking members of the city to come out for the public forum.”

MacDonald says although gangs in Abbotsford haven’t gone away over the years, he doesn’t think we’re headed towards the gang war days of 2008-2009.

However he says the youth involved are ripe for the picking for gang recruitment.

“People who are already inclined to ignore the police department, to make bad decisions, to engage in illegal acts are exactly the type of people that gangs and gang recruiters are looking for.”

Wednesday’s forum will be held at 7pm at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.