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Williams Lake Mayor and Council seek to address crime

Fed up with the ‘broken’ justice system, the Mayor of Williams Lake is prepared to appear in court to personally provide community victim impact statements.

Walt Cobb made the comment at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting.

He said time and time again we’ve had to deal with the courts that appear to be a catch and release system not about giving sentences.

“Many of these guys are repeat offenders. They’re in and out, in and out and it’s got to stop,” Cobb told MyCaribooNow.

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“The police are tired of it I”m sure and I know the citizens of Williams Lake are tired of it, so if I have to go court and sit there and wait during the sentence and have an opportunity to give an impact statement on how it’s affecting our community I will do that.”

Cobb said the City has provided community impact statements before but only in writing.

“I think it’s twice now I have written letters, impact statement statements on different cases, so you wonder whether the judges even read the impact statements,” he said.

“In this case, if we get an opportunity to do it verbally then they have to listen.”

From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2019, there have been over 5,700 calls for RCMP service in the City of Williams Lake and 1,800 calls for service in the rural area.

Most crime trends thus far have shown increases according to Williams Lake RCMP Inspector Jeff Pelley.

City Council also discussed a proposed Williams Lake 6-Point Crime Action Plan at Tuesday’s meeting.

It seeks to use available technology including electronic monitoring devices to monitor released offenders, return proceeds of crime directly to the City, deploy cameras in strategically selected areas, and ask the courts to consider the rights of the community and explain in writing their rationale for releasing an offender without appropriate monitoring. The plan also seeks to support the creation of a court watch program.

(Editor’s Note: Listen to Mayor of Williams Lake, Walt Cobb with the author of this report in the audio file below)

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