The City of Williams Lake was pleased to receive notification on April 12, 2023 from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General regarding the establishment of “hubs” to target repeat violent offending throughout BC. These hubs include police, dedicated prosecutors and probation officers working with local stakeholders and existing programs. Their goal is to establish a coordinated responses across the justice system while connecting offenders with the services they need to support better outcomes. Williams Lake has been included as one of the 12 hubs, and is one of the smallest communities to receive this support.
“City of Williams Lake Council has worked extremely hard over the past several years to bring attention to the need for stronger sentencing for prolific and repeat offenders,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gary Muraca. “Council is excited about this program and is looking forward to continuing to be part of the solution; we will be following up with the Province to monitor the success of this initiative.”
In 2021, Council requested both the federal and provincial governments to investigate the possibility of a public inquiry to determine why so many prolific offenders with serious charges are released into the community with ineffective deterrents to re-offend, and conducted a public survey for community input on this serious issue. Over 600 responses were received, and showed overwhelming support for stricter penalties and monitoring for prolific and repeat offenders (over 94% of responses). Last year, the City provided a submission to the Province’s prolific offender investigation, which included a substantial document package stressing the urgent need for attention to this critical issue.
“We are pleased that our voices were heard and we were selected as one of the 12 communities that receive this support,” said Councillor Scott Nelson. “This is a step in the right direction to target prolific offenders that threaten our community’s sense of safety and security. We simply can’t afford to wait any longer.”
For more information, the Province’s News Release can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PSSG0019-000497.
Greg Sabatino, Events & Marketing Coordinator
City Hall: 250.392.2311