British Columbia’s attorney general said the arrests were “useless” to curb crime | Pro IQRA News

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British Columbia’s attorney general said more arrests were “pointless” while dismissing criticism of government policies on repeat infractions and violent crimes across the province.

Murray Rankin told the legislature on Tuesday that increasing arrests is not the answer to fighting crime.

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His statement comes despite a recent government-commissioned report quoting police officers and observers saying that perpetrators are “emboldened to continue criminality, deteriorating society’s trust in the justice system”.

The minister said the new democratic government is focusing on resolving the issue of violent crimes, but focusing only on arresting more people will not work.

“We are committed to ending the cycle of re-criminalization and preventing people from becoming criminals in the first place,” Rankin said. “Just arresting people and getting them out of the situation we know would be pointless. We need to do more and this is what we are doing.”

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He said the government was considering a range of options to keep people safe, including consulting widely with communities, law enforcement officials and mental health and addiction service providers.

Rankin said that putting people in detention for alleged crimes is part of the justice process, but it is not the primary function of the system.

“It’s a necessary but not sufficient response to an extraordinarily complex problem,” he said.

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Liberal opposition leader Kevin Falcon told the legislature that the government’s ongoing “catch and release” policy in which repeat offenders are quickly released from custody despite being charged with violent crimes has created fear in residents in cities from Vancouver to Terrace.

“Criminals encouraged this government’s lack of enforcement, and four violent indiscriminate attacks in Vancouver every day,” he said. Most recently, a young woman in Vancouver was followed by her apartment, thrown to the ground and assaulted by a young man. Just the other day.”

The Vancouver Police Department said in an October 3 press release that bystanders stopped a stranger’s attack on a 29-year-old woman in the foyer of her downtown apartment.

A prolific government-commissioned offenders report released last month points to incidents of violent crime across British Columbia, and the frustrations of law enforcement officers arresting alleged criminals to see again on the streets.

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The report cited an unprovoked attack with machetes last July on two people in downtown Vancouver’s eastern city. It also included a report of an unprovoked attack in July by a man who violently beat a woman and a young child.

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A report by former Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Doug Leppard and Amanda Butler, a criminologist who specializes in mental health and addiction, made 28 recommendations.

The report said police enforcement, aggressive prosecution and longer sentences would not address the violent crime problem, but it also said official crime statistics may not provide an accurate picture of crime trends in British Columbia.

“In Terrace, the mayor and council member stated, ‘Statistics don’t tell the truth,” the report read. Crime does not decrease. It’s the worst that ever happened. People don’t report because it’s pointless because they’re out too fast.”

Falcon said the government has the power to direct the public prosecutor to detain more people accused of violent crimes, but it has not taken this action.

Rankin said he will travel to Ottawa in the coming days to meet with Federal Minister of Justice David Lamty to address the crime issue.


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BC looks to change electoral boundaries, firefights in the period of questions about the safety of the community


BC looks to change electoral boundaries, firefights in the period of questions about the safety of the community

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on October 4, 2022.

© 2022 Canadian Press

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