Gangs of Prince Albert

© Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

Police have made 179 weapons charges so far this year, a multi-year record. They chalk the trend up to three big gangs in the city – and a bunch of little ones

Walk along an alley in the west flat and you’ll notice patterns in the graffiti.  Acronyms like “TS” repeat themselves over and over. So do cryptic-sounding numbers, like 2019.

There’s a hidden meaning there. Anyone on the streets knows what that graffiti stands for. “TS” and 2019 are code for Terror Squad, probably the most notorious gang in Prince Albert.

When they spray those words, they’re marking their territory.

Or maybe it’s just kids, playing tough.

That’s the problem with policing gang activity in Prince Albert. There are so many questions, so much haze. Just ask Curtis Bradbury, a constable with the Prince Albert Integrated Intelligence Unit, which tracks criminal networks in the city and surrounding region.

“The hardest part of our job is just finding out who is a gang member,” he said.

But there’s a lot they do know. Bradbury said that gang activity in Prince Albert is dominated by three organizations, with smaller groups popping up from time to time. Together, they’re largely responsible for the city’s spike in weapons charges, which have risen every year since 2012. Gangs play a major role in assaults, robberies and murders, Bradbury said.

It’s all driven by one overriding purpose: to grab a share of the money the drug trade brings through the city.

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