The Minister for Public Safety and the Solicitor General of BC, was in Williams Lake Friday morning meeting with City Council, RCMP, and First Nations to address the ongoing crime rate.
Mike Morris says Williams Lake has had significant issues with respect to policing in the community and surrounding areas.
“As a solicitor general, we’re looking at a number of initiatives- for community safety initiatives that we have. We’re in the process right now; staff has been working diligently now for a number of weeks to put together a steering committee to see exactly what that looks like.”
Morris says they want to look at the staffing levels at the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment and how they can help First Nation Communities throughout Chilcotin address some of the underlying in their communities that have led to violence not only in Williams Lake but the Chilcotin.
As for if, Williams Lake has a gang issue?
“In my opinion, no. I think Williams Lake has a crime issue with low level, street level drug dealers;. they’ve got issues with probably some rivalry between some First Nations, but as far as the actual gang activity, nothing in comparison to what we see in other locations of the province.”
Morris says he’ll be meeting with all of the Chiefs from the Chilcotin and Northern Shuswap as well.
“The community needs to take ownership of community safety and a lot of issues taking place in the community right now, ” he says.
“We’re going to provide them with the tools, but they need to take the initiative and and there needs to be some solid leadership in First Nations and the City of Williams Lake in how we address those issues.”