A Williams Lake Councillor says he is shocked that no GPS tracking devices are currently being worn by offenders following a report this week on crime trends by RCMP Inspector Jeff Pelley.
Scott Nelson made the supported recommendation at Tuesday’s Committee of Whole Council meeting that the devices be worn by offenders who breach conditions, particularly curfew.
“I can tell you right now that according to this report that there should be six people with GPS trackers on them today because those six people have breached their curfew and have new charges being put against them,” Nelson said.
“Why are we continuously just putting more charges against people?”
Williams Lake RCMP according to Inspector Jeff Pelley who confirmed there are no current offenders with a GPS anklet, completed 71 curfew checks last month with six breach charges forwarded to Crown Counsel for charge approval.
“We work with our Crown Counsel and community corrections in the current legal system to determine if an application should be made to the court pertaining to an offender being released from custody to pursue an electronic monitoring program,” Pelley explained.
“Again we work closely with crown counsel and community corrections who would make that application within the existing judicial process. We had it on an offender in the past, but we do have to work within the legal system to ensure that it’s appropriately applied.”
Council agreed during a regular council meeting on May 29, 2018, to lease 10 anklets through SafeTracks GPS Canada Inc. with the hope of them being used for monitoring repeat offenders 24 hours a day.
Offenders ‘On Holidays, Having a Big Party’: Nelson
From January 1, 2018, to July 31, 2018, there have been 4,562 calls for service for the City of Williams Lake and 1,701 calls for service in the rural area representing a 1% increase for calls for the City and an 8% increase for the rural communities.
Crime trends showing increases include:
- Theft from vehicles have increased by 74% as there have been 101 offences in 2018 and 58 offences in 2017
- Robberies have increased 67% with 15 offences in 2018 and 9 offences in 2017
- Assault offences have increased 18% with 90 offences in 2018 and 76 offences in 2017
- Drug possession offences have indicated a 36% increase with 116 offences in 2018 and 85 offences in 2017
- Drug trafficking offences have increased 150% with 15 offences in 2018 and 6 offences in 2017
- Collisions have increased by 24% as there were 150 reported collisions in 2018 and 121 collisions in 2017
“We were looking for clear statistics on this,” Nelson maintains.
“The real question is that we need to ask the provincial government why they’re letting criminals back onto the streets without GPS, why they’re putting criminals back into the community in crack houses, in gang houses, and we’re looking for answers.”
“The province needs to explains this to the community why they are not using this technology.”
Council will be giving further consideration to Nelson’s recommendation at its regular Council meeting on Tuesday, August 28th.
“I think that the RCMP work tirelessly and I give them great credit for the work that they do in our community,” added Nelson.
“It’s not the RCMP that are letting the criminals out of jail; it’s the crown and it’s the judges, and the community is simply fed up.”