October 26, 2017 9:13 pm
Updated: October 26, 2017 9:46 pm

Former B.C. Attorney General says police attitudes have shifted on ‘high-risk’ women


The province’s former Attorney General said the police’s and public’s view towards women who are subject of violent crimes have changed over the last 15 years.

“The public, by and large, was indifferent because they were sex-trade workers, they were aboriginal, they were poor, all of those things and the public didn’t pay attention to them,” Wally Oppal said.

READ MORE: No link yet between missing women, remains found on Salmon Arm-area farm: RCMP

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Oppal led B.C.’s inquiry into missing and murdered women and said he really saw attitudes change once the Robert Pickton case came up.

“It was only after Pickton was arrested in 2002 when the police started to dig up the property, and they realized the gravity of the situation that the public became aware of.”

He said law enforcement is now more sympathetic.

“I think the RCMP have done a very good job in being proactive, and the Vancouver Police have a number of endeavours and a number of initiatives [like] ‘Sister Watch’, and other programs of that sort, where they try to keep an eye out for women on the street.”

He was a guest on CKNW’s Steele and Drex.

WATCH: Salmon River Road investigation has neighbour concerned

At least five women have gone missing along the stretch between Vernon and Sicamous over the last 20 months.

RCMP investigators say it is too soon to connect the missing women in the north Okanagan to human remains found at a Salmon Arm property that were found on Oct. 16.

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