Canadian Border Services agents may have one more tool to help in detecting gang members or members of a criminal organization: a new tattoo handbook.
According to the Canadian Border Services Agency, a cat tattoo can represent a prisoner’s “life as a thief.”
“A single cat signifies that the criminal acted alone, while several cats together show that the criminal was part of a gang,” the handbook said.
The head of a tomcat is considered “good luck” for a thief or serves as a warning “as it signifies a dangerous criminal who hates law enforcement, especially if worn on the chest,” according to the agency.
A version of the handbook was unofficially released on Feb. 28 by an advocacy group called “Public Intelligence.” The group identifies itself as an “international, collaborative research project aimed at aggregating the collective work of independent researchers around the globe who wish to defend the public’s right to access information.”
The handbook, which was posted on Public Intelligence’s website, provides photos and descriptions of tattoos associated with gangs and criminal groups.
Travis O’Brien, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said the report “was not officially released by the CBSA.
“To provide a fulsome response, we will require appropriate time to review and address,” he said in an email to Postmedia News.
According to the handbook, a three-dot tattoo formed in a triangle could symbolize “prison, hospital, cemetery,” which represents “the path and ultimate end of a gang lifestyle,” it said. The three dots also could mean “a crazy life” (“mi vida loca”) which is associated with the Mexican Mafia.
This tattoo is usually the first an individual receives before becoming a full-fledged gang member.
However, the handbook recognized that simply having a tattoo does not mean an individual is involved in crime.
“Someone who tattoos himself may not necessarily be a gang member; however, he is at the very least indicating that he feels he runs outside the norms of society, that he is a rebel,” the agency wrote in the handbook’s section on Asian gang tattoos.
“Tattooing is not uncommon, nor generally done by the average citizen in Asian culture,” it said, because it is seen as a “defilement” of the body.
Asian gangs in Hong Kong usually depict animals such as snakes, dragons and tigers, according to the handbook.
Meanwhile, three Ottawa tattoo parlours, which have been in business for at least a decade or more, said they hadn’t seen any customers requesting gang tattoos.
Tim Meadow, manager at Planet Ink on Rideau Street, near Parliament Hill, said in the 10 years that the tattoo parlour has been in business, he hasn’t seen anyone requesting these types of tattoos.
The more “popular” tats are the standard “skulls, dragons, fish and words,” he said.
The parlour’s clientele includes people all walks of life, including “business people with full body suits” which they can keep hidden, Meadow added.
At Silver Line Tattoo & Body Piercing, also on Rideau Street, Beth Moores, a customer service representative, said police haven’t made the tattoo parlour aware of any types of gang tattoos.
The parlour, she noted, has denied some customers’ requests for a teardrop tattoo, usually asked to be located below the eye, which may mean that the person has been incarcerated or has killed someone.
“We always tell them ‘No.’ We don’t do face tattoos,” Moores said.
and here is a link to this handbook their using.... ((opens in PDF)) http://info.publicin...tooHandbook.pdf
- a shamrock identifies you as part of the Aryan Brotherhood
- a 5 pointed crown is a Latin Kings gang tat
- three dots represent the gang lifestyle
- red lips (like a lipstick kiss) is suspected of being a Sureño identifier
- Laughing and crying clown faces or masks tattooed on the body represent “Laugh now, cry later”, associated with the gang lifestyle
- A dog paw is common among these gang members.(Blood faction near LA)
- an Indian warrior; each feather represents a crime committed against white society.
- Marijuana leaf designed into a bracelet. Common for support, useor sale of marijuana by some gang members.
- Tattooing is not common nor generally done by the average citizen in Asian cultures. Tattooing is seen as a defilement of the body. Someone who tattoos himself may not necessarily be a gang member; however, he is at the very least indicating that he feels he runs outside the norms of society, that he is a rebel.
- tiger tattoos have been seen on Asian gang members
- spider web often represents time spent in prison
- Grim Reaper - This tattoo was found on a Sureñogang member
- other: Viking themes, Face of female crying, Eight ball - all "associated" with different gangs or hate groups...
On one hand I can see how having a reference like this would be useful... but great caution must be exercised... not everyone with a tiger tattooed on them is an Asian gang member!!
Take a look through the hand book.... where does your tattoo, or SO's tattoo place them... LOL!!