Nanaimo: The BC government on Wednesday announced steps to tackle repeat violent offending in the province.
During a press conference on Wednesday in Nanaimo, BC premier David Eby said the province is setting up 12 hubs of police, dedicated prosecutors and probation offers under Repeat Violent Offending Intervention Initiative.
The BC government said this initiative is focused on targeted enforcement as well as enhanced investigation and monitoring.
“The initiative is structured to meet the unique needs of each community. The hubs will work with local stakeholders and other existing programs, such as situation tables and Assertive Community Treatment teams, through collaborative information sharing,” the BC government said in a press release.
“Ensuring safe communities means we need to work in a co-ordinated and determined way,” said Premier David Eby.
“These new regional hubs will help prosecutors, police and corrections officials focus on addressing specific repeat prolific offenders to keep communities safe. This will deliver serious consequences for those who repeatedly break the law, while also making sure targeted services are available to those who are ready for them,” he added.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community, wherever they live. The rise in repeat violent offending is top of mind for British Columbians and it’s also a top priority for our government. We’re taking action by standing up 12 hubs throughout B.C. to harness the expertise and experience that will disrupt repeat violent offending and make a real difference in B.C. neighbourhoods.”
According to the BC government, the hubs will be based in Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Prince George, Williams Lake and Terrace.
Each hub will serve surrounding communities within its region, co-ordinating responses across the justice system and connecting offenders with the services they need to support better outcomes, the province added.
“Crimes committed by repeat violent offenders continue to be a concern across the country,” said Niki Sharma, Attorney General.
“These are tough challenges that require a co-ordinated approach. That’s why we’re investing in dedicated Crown counsel to provide criminal law advice, and independent prosecutorial support and services to support the hubs and help build safer, more just communities,” she added.
The BC government said the Repeat Violent Offending Intervention Initiative will be supported by the new Special Investigation and Targeted Enforcement (SITE) program.
“The province is investing $16 million over three years so law enforcement can strengthen targeted investigations of repeat violent offending cases and improve information sharing between police agencies,” said the press release issued by the BC government.