Prince George will be one of 12 dedicated hubs located across BC targeting repeat violent offenders.
It’s part of the Repeat Violent Offending Intervention Initiative announced by the provincial government, which will include police, prosecutors, and probation officers.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community, wherever they live,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “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. neighborhoods.”
The hubs will work with local stakeholders and other existing programs, such as situation tables and Assertive Community Treatment teams, through information sharing.
In addition, the initiative will be supported by the new Special Investigation and Targeted Enforcement Program, which will see a 16-million dollar investment so law enforcement can bulk up targeted investigations of repeat violent offenders cases.
“The impacts and challenges of repeat violent offenders require a multi-agency response,” said Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP, Surrey.
“The new Specialized Investigation and Targeted Enforcement program is a step in the right direction. SITE will enhance public safety by adding to the investigative options available to police in B.C. It will also strengthen coordination and information sharing between police agencies, similar to the successes achieved with B.C.’s Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priority, which SITE is modelled after.
Other hubs will be based out of Terrace, Williams Lake, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook, New Westminster, Surrey, and Abbotsford.
“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 coordinated 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.”