Protecting communities with Guns & Gangs Strategy
Driving forward, Today's BC Liberals will:
- Continue to implement the Guns & Gangs Strategy to address public safety, keep our communities safe, and keep illegal firearms out of the hands of criminals.
- Make an additional $4 million investment in our Guns & Gangs Strategy in rural British Columbia.
A justice system that works
John Horgan and the BC NDP will ensure access to justice is fair, timely and affordable by:
- Hiring new court sheriffs immediately to bring the number back to a historical norm of 525 so fewer accused criminals walk away free without trial.
- Implementing the Surrey Accord and bringing together all levels of government to create a safer, healthier community and address crime, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
- Providing $500,000 a year in stable, secure funding for Surrey's Wraparound (WRAP) program to connect teens at risk of joining gangs with outreach workers, teachers and police.
- Taking pressure off the courts by reducing the number of people forced to represent themselves because of a lack of resources.
- Improving access to justice by hiring more staff for the Court Services Branch, increasing access to dispute resolutions services for families, expanding poverty law services and supporting First Nations legal services.
- Working with First Nations to set targets and take action to reduce the number of Aboriginal people facing our justice system and to reduce incarceration rates.
- Recognizing culture for its role in rehabilitation and recovery and providing culturally diverse and appropriate programming in prisons, particularly for Aboriginal people.
- Providing $8 million per year in funding to support women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
BC Citizens First
Justice and Policing
COMPULSORY POLICE BODY CAMERAS: All BC police will be required to wear body cameras whilst on duty. Funding will be directly provided by the BC Government. NEW BC DIGITAL POLICE FORCE: A new BC Digital Police Force will be established to monitor all illegal activities on the internet and the dark web using global best practices and techniques to uncover illegal drug trade, online predators of underage children, cyber-bullying and harassment, illegal short term accommodation providers and ride-sharing providers etc SURREY NEIGHBORHOOD CCTV VIDEO SURVEILLANCE: A 24 hour monitored network of day and night Closed Circuit TV Cameras (CCTV) will be established in Surrey neighborhoods in order to identify and persecute illegal activities based upon the successful City of London operating model. INTRODUCTION OF NEW â€˜SHOTSPOTTERâ€™ TECHNOLOGY which will be integrated with the above CCTV network in order to quickly identify real-time gunshots in public venue, track and then apprehend offenders. Police will be provided with in-car video and audio access to real-time gunshot events occurring in local neighborhoods to assist with location, identification and apprehending of offenders. ELIMINATE EXCESSIVE LEGAL FEES ON CITIZENS FROM COURT INEFFICIENCY: We believe that the Court system is highly inefficient and can potentially cost members of the public a full dayâ€™s court time from their lawyers when in fact their lawyer might only spend 10 minutes in front of a judge during a Chambers Hearing. Accordingly we will require a more citizen-focused, cost effective and efficient Court system across BC particularly with respect to Chambers matters. WE WILL WORK WITH BC COURTS TO INTRODUCE 9 AM TO 5 PM COURT HEARING HOURS rather than the current highly restricted Court hours available to BC citizens. This will be achieved through appropriate funding of a more efficient and effective judicial Court system. TRIAL WAIT TIMES REDUCED: We will also require Court proceedings to be at final trial within 18 months of original lodgment (unless either party seeks an extension of time) through appropriate funding of a more efficient and effective judicial Court system. RESTORE LEGAL AID SERVICES: We will restore legal aid to its former levels with case funding increased to the latest published national average of $17.12 per capita through additional funds of $16.5 million per annum. All of these funds will be used to fund actions taken by our most vulnerable citizens to protect their rights, to increase time available for cases, and to expand the profile of accepted cases to include for example, overseas abductions by a parent. An additional $0.5 million will be available to increase call centre personnel and reduce call waiting times resulting in total additional budgeting of $17 million pa.