Bail reforms won’t be enough in B.C.: policing expert

A policing expert says dealing with repeat offenders in B.C. will take more than just the bail reform tabled by the federal justice minister.

B.C. Premier David Eby says the proposed changes to the federal bail laws are part of the solution to dealing with repeat offenders.

“Despite having very strict directives to our crown counsel about seeking detention – when the federal law is applied, we have seen violent offenders re-released back into the community to commit yet another offense,” he said.

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti tabled new legislation Tuesday and said he wants to change the bail laws so that people accused of violent crimes would need to prove they deserve to be released.

Related articles:

But former Public Safety Minister Kash Heed says bail reform is just the tip of the iceberg.

Heed says, 50 per cent of crimes in Vancouver, most of them being property crimes, are committed by repeat offenders.

“When Lametti comes up with a half-baked solution to the problem just to satisfy premiers that are saying ‘we need something,’ chiefs that are saying ‘we need something’ – or other people that are saying ‘we need something’ – we have to realize it’s half-baked. It may not make any difference!”

Heed says people who need support with mental health and addiction shouldn’t be stuck in the penal system if they commit an offense.

“So dealing with them – you have got to take them out of this equation. You can’t just keep putting them in front of the courts and expect them to deal with it. That is the problem with drug addiction.”

For dealing with prolific offenders in B.C., Eby says the province is making sure courts have all the information they need.

“British Columbia has not been waiting for Ottawa. This month, we have integrated teams of prosecutors, police, and crown counsel working together to track prolific offenders, to make sure all of the information is gathered and in front of the court, anytime a person is arrested or might be released from custody,” he said.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today