Williams Lake seeks to crack down on prolific offenders

By Greg Fry
March 2, 2018 - 2:43pm Updated: March 2, 2018 - 7:07pm

WILLIAMS LAKE — Williams Lake council is fed up with prolific offenders in its community and is asking the Province to do what it can to help.

The city is asking Victoria to support a 24/7 electronic monitoring system for prolific offenders - called Buddi Ltd and endorsed by NDP MLA Mike Farnsworth in 2016 when he was in opposition.

City Councillor Scot Nelson says the program is already being used in several Lower Mainland communities and says its time to bring it to the central Cariboo now that Farnsworth is the public safety minister and solicitor general.

"In 2017 there was 842 curfew checks on various offenders in Williams Lake and the RCMP found that a number of these curfew checks conducted revealed the offenders to be non-compliant," he says. "So, it's a significant concern when these individuals are not where they're supposed to be or directed by the courts. Not only is is a cost issue, but it's a safety issue for our community."

Nelson says policing costs the city around $1 million every quarter and notes the final straw for council was when a wildfire looter was handed what he calls "a slap on the hand" by the courts recently.

"When we were all evacuated the police caught and charged a guy that stole and broke into our homes and got a slap on the hand. And he got released on probation and we all said 'what the hell is going on?' Everybody was up in arms and we said enough is enough, it's time to put the foot down and start to hold people accountable for these decisions."

If implemented, he says electronic anklets would be used on prolific offenders. Nelson says the idea has the support of the local RCMP.

This isn't the first time the city has attempted to crack down on prolific offenders.

Back in 2016 council approved a motion to have prolific offenders embedded with electronic tracking devices however it failed to receive provincial support.

This time around however Nelson says council is hopeful change is coming.

"We as a council have written a letter to the Province and we want them to use their power to use it."


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