BC's new Premier, Dave Eby, has a plan to curb violent crime in British Columbia.
It's being called the "Safer BC Community Action Plan". Eby also wants the ability to seize assets like expensive homes and cars from gang members.
The core of the Safer BC Community Action Plan is improving coordination between the justice system, non-profits, cities, provincial government, and indigenous people to create safer communities.
The Safer BC Community Action Plan has two key tracks
- ENFORCEMENT that recognizes zero tolerance for violent crime
- INTERVENTION that helps people break the cycle of life in and out of jail
The hope is this will prevent crime before it happens
The "new plan" involves setting up coordinated "response teams" to address the issue of violent offenders.
The teams will be made up of police, dedicated prosecutors, and probation officers to prevent violent crime before it happens.
When a violent crime does happen the goal is to have violent offenders remain in custody while awaiting trial, not out in the community putting people at risk.
There will also be an effort to help violent offenders break the reoffending cycle.
To that goal, mental health resources will be expanded. Crisis response teams will be in more communities. Twelve new pier-assisted care teams will be formed, some being indigenous-led.
The teams will intervene when people are suffering a mental health crisis on the streets.
Premiere Eby says this will free up police to focus on crime rather than social services.
Eby's plan would also see healthcare workers paired with police to assist when dealing with people suffering a mental health crisis.
Eby also said today at a live press conference the BC Attorney General will issue a directive to prosecutors next Tuesday to implement a clear and understandable bail policy for repeat violent offenders within the existing federal law.
Training prosecutors to work with police to better submit evidence to the court is also part of the initiative.
Ten new indigenous justice centres will be opened across the province. They will be operated by the First Nations Justice council.
The premier also called on Ottawa to reexamine changes to federal rules around bail law.
In the next session of the BC legislature, new legislation will be introduced that will target unexplained wealth and organized crime.
If passed the legislation would allow the government to seize assets and other proceeds obtained without apparent means like cars homes and luxury goods.
Premier Dave Eby believes removing financial gains from criminal activities would remove the incentive to enter gang life.