Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

MLA’S CORNER: NDP action needed to address rising crime

Communities have experienced rising rates of random assaults, vandalism and other disturbing crimes

In the past few years, our communities have experienced rising rates of random assaults, vandalism and other disturbing crimes. These crimes are largely committed by a small minority of repeat offenders who continue to breach probation, fail to appear in court and escape custody — and who continue to pose a threat to public safety.

We have seen this throughout the province — from here in Williams Lake to downtown Vancouver.

Last year the Williams Lake RCMP issued a news release about one individual who was arrested after failing to appear in court on seven outstanding warrants. But after a bail hearing this individual was released again, even with multiple warrants and more than 20 criminal charges.

We know that this is not simply a matter of individual failure or responsibility, but one of systemic failure. Our system is not built to truly address situations like this and our province’s current ‘catch and release’ style approach, the result of policies that were implemented under the leadership of NDP Attorney General David Eby, is only making matters worse.

Recently, 13 urban mayors wrote a letter calling out the NDP’s harmful policies for repeat criminal offenders. They highlighted criminal offence data that provides examples from various communities where a single offender has generated hundreds of police files, and yet was rarely charged. The province has actually seen a 75 per cent increase in the rate of no-charge assessments.

We need to take a closer look at the gaps in our system and ensure that when people are released from custody, they are set on a path for success. This isn’t just a criminal issue; this is a symptom of government’s larger failure to care for our most vulnerable.

We need all levels of government to work together, in partnership with our hardworking local police and RCMP departments, to create safer, better-supported communities. People deserve to have a sense of safety and security in their neighborhoods and have confidence that our justice system is working, but unfortunately, right now they have neither.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCaribooWilliams Lake