City toughens prolific offender approach

Williams Lake city council wants legislation changed so that local governments can set fines targeting prolific offenders.

Williams Lake city council wants legislation changed so that local governments can set fines targeting prolific offenders.

“We want to specifically go after prolific offenders and make sure we have fees that will frustrate them and let them know how serious we are,” Coun. Scott Nelson said during Tuesday’s regular council meeting, noting a low end fine would be $1,000 and the high end $10,000.

Council agreed unanimously to submit a resolution asking the Union of B.C. Municipalities to lobby the provincial government to amend the charter.

“We would be asking that all municipalities that have prolific offenders who continually harass their citizens would be given the right to allow bylaw enforcement officers to charge and penalize those individuals,” Nelson said. “If you are out there constantly harassing granny or grandpa and you won’t move out of their place and constantly giving them a hard time, our bylaw officers and the RCMP are limited with the power of what they can do.”

Council will ask the North Central Local Government Association for support and will request a face-to-face meeting with the Attorney General.

“This is a serious issue,” Nelson said. “We had a public meeting the other day about it, and quite frankly we’re tired of the prolific offenders in our community wreaking havoc.”

Acting Mayor Sue Zacharias agreed it would be good for Williams Lake to have the right to set the fees.

“If we can get other communities on board to lobby with us it will be good for the whole province,” she said.

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