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MILOBAR – ‘Just wait and see’ approach on public safety isn’t good enough

(Image: RCMP)

By PETER MILOBAR
MLA, Kamloops-North Thompson

NEARLY ANYWHERE YOU GO IN B.C., people are talking about the sudden and dramatic increase in violent crime in our communities.

MLA Peter Milobar.

It is something we are seeing in Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George and everywhere in between. Business owners have spoken up about the impact on their livelihoods, residents have expressed concerns about no longer feeling safe in their communities, and numerous B.C. mayors have called on the province to take action.

Months have passed, and the NDP government has still done nothing to seriously address crime in B.C.

I have used this space before to talk about how crime is impacting us right here in Kamloops, where we have experienced a 45 per cent increase in violent crime severity in just the past few years.

It’s a deeply concerning statistic, and one that should be driving the NDP to act quickly but, instead, they have decided to avoid the issue and gaslight British Columbians about the realities of crime in B.C.

As the mayors pointed out in their letter to the Province this spring, much of the increased crime in our communities is perpetrated by a small group of chronic offenders who repeatedly offend, breach bail conditions and fail to appear in court.

Our outgoing RCMP Superintendent here in Kamloops, Syd Lecky, spoke about the challenges police are facing in dealing with these repeat offenders last week, saying “If you are released and waiting for court — and we are arresting people four, five, six times now on warrants — if that’s happening people are often times continuing to offend.”

Our police forces are doing their best to keep our communities safe, but they are limited in what they can do and under increased pressure to release people with as few conditions on them as possible.

This is a direct result of policy set by David Eby, who was the Attorney General until he resigned from his post this summer to run for NDP leadership.

During Eby’s tenure as Attorney General, B.C. saw a 75 per cent increase in the rate of no-charge assessments and a 26 per cent decrease in the number of accused being approved to go to court.

Even when made aware of the troubling impacts of his direction, Eby refused to change course, and instead responded by commissioning a four-month independent study to simply look into the issue of repeat offenders.

That study started in May and the report was supposed to be delivered on Sept. 2, 2022, but last week it was announced that the report would be late by multiple weeks — further delaying action.

And while government continues to put off addressing the issue, every day that passes, an average of four people become the victims of violent assaults in Vancouver alone.

When it comes to the safety and security of British Columbians, a ‘let’s just wait and see’ approach is completely unacceptable. Governments must prioritize the safety of their citizens, and that means empowering police, and the courts, to take the necessary actions to protect our communities.

It’s appalling that NDP has let crime spiral out of control in B.C. over the last few years and it’s clear something needs to change, as soon as possible.

People deserve to feel safe in their neighbourhoods — but under Eby and the NDP’s watch, that is simply not the reality for far too many British Columbians.

Peter Milobar was elected MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson in May 2017, and re-elected in October 2020. He is the Official Opposition Critic for Finance. He previously served as critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and the Official Opposition House Leader.

About Mel Rothenburger (9122 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on MILOBAR – ‘Just wait and see’ approach on public safety isn’t good enough

  1. Wasn’t it the BC Liberals that shut down a bunch of courthouses, reduced the amount of judges, slashed legal aid, closed jails and put the last nails in the coffen for Riverview? Funny how Kamloops didn’t get a cancer center either with you guys in power with both MLA’s being BC Liberals. So what your complaining about is the BC NDP is not cleaning up the mess the BC Liberals made fast enough? Cronic staffing shortages everywhere has nothing to do with it right? Staffing shortages were happening before COVID to due hot economic its just gotten worse since the shut downs with everybody wanting to go back to normal. Same with securing work crews to build/fix things on a reasonable budget without waiting. Was happening before. Gotten worse since.

  2. Well golly gee, Peter doesn’t like it now that the Liberal chickens have come home to roost. It was the Liberals , under Gordon Campbell , that closed Essondale , and a good portion of the facilities that were there to help people with mental health issues. And there are a lot of people on the streets with mental health problems, self medicating because doctors prescribe medication that turn them into zombies, and they don’t like it. Now most of those poor people are addicts, with no choice other than to commit crimes to support their habits. This is all thanks to the Liberals who cry the loudest about it.

  3. It,s time for Mr. Milobar to take up fishing or anything. I would like to see his political days over along with the ” other guy”.
    What we need is much tougher judges and fewer bent lawyers. It,s also hard to believe who,s running for Mayor in Langley.

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