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NDP government responds to BC Liberal Criticism over prolific offenders

BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has responded to criticism from the Liberals that they’re not doing enough to protect communities from prolific offenders.

Mike Farnworth adds he agrees that people deserve to feel safe in their communities and that there is a problem.

“Through conversations with my provincial and territorial counterparts, it’s clear that repeat offending and violent stranger attacks are a major concern right across the country as unintended consequences of recent federal law changes and subsequent Supreme Court decisions. The federal government is now aware of the seriousness of this issue and has committed to working with us t urgently address these issues.”

Farnworth stated the province, in cooperation with the BC Urban Mayors Caucus, commissioned an independent investigative report about the challenges of repeat offending and unprovoked, violent stranger attacks that some communities are facing.

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“Many of the report recommendations align with work we already have underway, and the experts tell us they will make a difference on the ground and in people’s lives.”

Farnworth noted they are actively reviewing all recommendations, and have also started to act on some of those suggestions.

“Including funding a pilot program at Prince George’s Indigenous Justice Centre, and bringing back the successful Repeat Offender Management program that he says the BC Liberals ended. These pilots were shown to reduce repeat offending by as much as 40 percent in their first year.”

The Minister goes on to say that they are committed to working with all partners-municipal, provincial, and federal-to strengthen enforcement, hold repeat and violent offenders to account, and address the root causes of crime to end the cycle of re-offending so we can keep people safe.

with files from George Henderson, My Cariboo Now staff

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