Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and the city councillors are requesting the provincial government reinstate the use of electronic monitoring anklets for criminal offenders will help curb crime in the lakecity. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

VIDEO: B.C. mayor urges province to use 24/7 electronic monitoring for offenders

Local politicians pen letter to government asking for electronic monitoring system

Williams Lake city council is taking a bold step to tackle crime.

Led by Mayor Walt Cobb and City Councillor Scott Nelson, the City is asking the provincial government to support round-the-clock electronic monitoring for prolific offenders and others out on bail or probation.

The move comes after the recent sentencing of a wildfire looter in the Williams Lake provincial courts and is unanimously supported by all members of council, who penned a letter this week to the Provincial Court of British Columbia, the Attorney General David Eby and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth pushing for the use of electronic ankle bracelets.

“We have come to the end of our tether as far as putting up with people getting away with multiple crimes,” Mayor Walt Cobb said Tuesday. “We had someone break into our house one time who had been in court 72 times in 18 years. That is ridiculous.”

Noted for its recurring status as a crime capital, Williams Lake leaders have proactively been trying to reduce crime for years, Cobb said, but added the summer’s wildfires brought to everyone’s attention there were offenders awaiting trial with multiple charges out in the community.

In 2017, the RCMP did more than 850 checks on offenders who were out of jail on conditions, Cobb said, pointing out the strain on policing resources.

“That’s not a good use of police time,” Cobb said. “If we had the offenders wearing tracking anklets and they breached their conditions and went where they shouldn’t, an alarm would go off.”

Read More: Man sentenced for possession of goods looted during wildfires

City Councillor Scott Nelson said when individuals don’t comply with their bail or probation conditions, the risk they will offend is increased.

“Last year there were 320 fails to appear on conditions of breaches and curfews. If they are not where they are supposed to be, then they are running around our communities and getting lost in the system.”

A new new electronic supervision program to track criminal offenders called Buddi Ltd. has been used in some communities in B.C. so why not Williams Lake? Nelson asked.

“In 2016, Mike Farnsworth came out and endorsed it as the NDP public safety critic,” Nelson said. “Now that the NDP are in government, we are encouraging them and asking the minister to help us make our community a much safer place.”

Williams Lake Insp. Jeff Pelley said the RCMP are committed to enhancing the accountability of offenders on conditions before the courts and increasing community safety.

“We will continue to work with community stakeholders to ensure new technology and viable options can be pursued legally within the judicial system,” he said. “We are currently exploring new options and existing technology with our Crown Counsel and Community Correction partners involving the newer electronic monitoring system to determine if it is feasible in Williams Lake and can be applied for through the court system.”

In February 2016, city council proposed the use of GPS tracking, including a call for inject-able chips in response to an afternoon armed robbery of a teenager at the Boitanio skate park.

Read more: Councillors propose GPS tracking of offenders

This time, the call is simply for electronic anklets.

“This technology has been tested in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and the U.S. and in B.C. it is already operational, but not here in Williams Lake,” Nelson said.

The monitoring devices will give the RCMP one more tool to help reduce crime and keep track of prolific offenders, some of which have 200 charges against them, Nelson added.

“We are not giving up, but gearing up.”

Pelley said the RCMP continue to work within their enforcement strategies to ensure compliance of bail conditions, sentences or the prevention of new offences with full accountability to the court system.

“I am aware of offenders being arrested, charged and released following bail hearings,” Pelley said.

Just Posted

Gas tank of Langley man’s pickup drilled to steal fuel

Record-high gas prices may be to blame for the theft that has left him without a truck

Reconciliation walk builds relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples

Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation begins May 25 in Fort Langley

RCMP seeks dash cam footage in Cloverdale hit and run

RCMP believe same Acura TL involved in two accidents within minutes of each other

South Surrey parents plan appeal of air-contaminants permit

Metro Vancouver gives 15-year OK to galvanizing-plant emissions

Fraser Valley photo clubs to compete at Clayton event

Photo clubs from Vancouver to Chilliwack will compete in the Langley Camera Club’s annual event

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

83-year-old convicted murderer escapes from B.C. prison

RCMP are asking for the public’s help to locate Ralph Whitfield Morris

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Municipal election loophole will be fixed, premier says

Union, corporate donations still allowed for slate party ‘operational’ needs

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Most Read