B.C. report on prolific offenders delayed due to ‘complexity’ of issues

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin, who is currently the acting attorney general, looks through paperwork during a ceremony at the B.C> Legislature, in Victoria, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The B.C. government is delaying the release of a report on how to deal with repeat offenders because of an “overwhelming” amount of public feedback.

Former deputy Vancouver police chief Doug LePard and health researcher and criminologist Amanda Butler were expected to deliver their recommendations to align with a public release set for Sept. 2.

That’s now been delayed until mid-September because of “extensive public feedback and the complexity of the various issues underlying crime,” the province said in a news release on Thursday afternoon.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna RCMP speak out about prolific offender'
Kelowna RCMP speak out about prolific offender

The government hired LePard and Butler back in May to investigate a surge crime in multiple areas of B.C. connected to prolific offenders — what it calls a “relatively small number of people who commit crimes repeatedly.” Their recommendations will be submitted to acting Attorney General Murray Rankin.

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Earlier this year, the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus issued an open letter calling for stronger bail conditions, stricter consequences for breaching those conditions, and stronger consideration for “maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice” in bail and charge assessment policies.

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The amount of time the province takes to review files it receives from police has shot up 118 per cent since 2017, the letter added, while the rate at which the BC Prosecution Service chooses to not charge suspects based on police evidence has risen by 75 per cent.

The report will include input from mayors, police, the prosecution service, health authorities, the Crown Police Liaison Committee working group, the BC First Nations Justice Council, and many other stakeholders.

The recommendations and an executive summary into the issue will be released in mid-September, while the full report will be available by the end of the month.

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