The Liberal MLA for Cariboo North is once again calling on the provincial government to end the catch-and-release justice system when it comes to prolific offenders.
Coralee Oakes says one of the recommendations that they’ve made would have the Attorney General deliver a directive mandate.
“There is definitely the ability for the Attorney General to make the recommendation to Crown prosecution that it be treated in a more significant fashion, taking victims into account, taking the safety of communities into account, seeking the detention of accused adult prolific offenders.”
The directive would identify a prolific offender as any person over the age of 19 who has been convicted 16 or more times for a Criminal Code of Canada offence or an offence under the controlled Drugs and Substance Act.
It would also say that should a prolific offender be brought before the courts on additional charges that a presumption would exist that the Crown counsel would, in the interest of the public and in the interest and public safety, seek the detention of the accused until the case is completed.
Oakes says the BC Liberals are also asking the government to create a special crown prosecution team to look at prolific offenders.
“We know that the prosecutors are absolutely under the same crisis of the increase in demands that we’re seeing right across the board in other sectors, so having a designated team that looked at prolific offenders is a strong step forward.”
Oakes says there is a precedence for the Attorney General to use these types of powers.
“For example one of the items that was brought up yesterday (Tuesday) was called a precedent from 1993 when then Attorney General Colin Gabelmann directed the BC prosecution to address domestic violence.”
Oakes says they have been asking for these changes for 6 months now, and she says the NDP government has so far done nothing.