The recently renovated property at 2775 Spencer Rd. in Langford now sports large black and white “41” signs, causing concern from some residents that a biker gang is moving into their neighbourhood.
“The locals are in for a shock when all the bikers show up to replace the painters and gardeners,” said one local resident, who spoke with the Gazette on the condition of anonymity. The resident feels the arrival of the biker club will negatively impact the community and cause an increase in criminal activity.
The West Shore RCMP released a statement on the matter, saying they are aware of reports that a clubhouse for the Devils Army – an affiliate of the Hells Angels – is being constructed in Langford. “This news is concerning and under close scrutiny by your local RCMP and city officials,” the statement said.
“Maintaining public safety remains the top priority of the West Shore RCMP Detachment,” said West Shore RCMP Inspector Larry Chomyn in the release. “We will work closely with our neighbouring RCMP, municipal police forces and partner agencies to identify, investigate and disrupt criminal activity and organized crime in our communities.”
At this point, the release states, there is no evidence to suggest that criminal activity is occurring at the location on Spencer Road, but the release added that “significant resources from local and regional RCMP units are closely monitoring the situation and will take immediate and legally appropriate action in response to any alleged criminal activity.”
“I’ve been getting a lot of calls from residents with concerns,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “We are working hard as a community, and I understand this is going to be an ongoing process with all law-enforcement agencies,” adding that this isn’t only a Langford issue, but a regional one.
“We are taking direction from the RCMP who have the resources to deal with these types of situations,” Young said. “All I am concerned about as a mayor is that our community is safe,” adding that any organization of this kind – whether engaged in criminal activity or not – in close proximity to schools and major thoroughfares, increases the concern from the residents.
“All we can do is to continue to try and make sure that Langford is the safest place to live and raise your family. I understand the concerns of the people and we will do the best we can to make sure that’s being done,” adding that he hopes the public will continue to inform the RCMP when they see activity they don’t support.
“The community has raised the level of concern,” Young said, “and we thank them for bringing it to our attention.”
As always, the RCMP encourages anyone in the community who has information relating to criminal activity to contact the West Shore RCMP Detachment at 250-474-2264 or anonymously through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).