Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media during a press conference in the press gallery at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday Feb. 5, 2018. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

B.C. looks to create witness security program

Minister Mike Farnworth said program would be another step in curbing gang and gun violence

B.C.’s public safety minister wants to create an in-house program to better support and protect witnesses testifying against gangsters and violent offenders.

Mike Farnworth said Thursday the program would build on the existing federal witness protection program.

“People with intimate details of the most serious crimes, or the activities of gangs and organized crime on our streets, should not feel their life will be in danger if they do the right thing and tell police,” he said.

There are delays when applying to the federal program and “stringent” requirements that can cause low witness retention, a release said – frustrating for police and prosecutors who have often worked for months securing the witness.

If passed, the proposal will help witnesses safely attend trial, offer treatment services for mental health challenges and addiction, and help with identity changes and job training. It would be launched within the next two years.

Kevin Hackett, assistant commissioner of BC RCMP Criminal Operations, said the program would be “one more tool” to help police destabilize gangs.

“It reinforces the fact that there can be a successful way for those who choose to exit the gang lifestyle, do the right thing and change their life,” he said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pedestrian struck on Dillworth Drive

Traffic is backed up on Highway 97 as well as Dillworth Drive

West Kelowna acquires land for Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant

The city has acquired 24 acres on Bartley Road

Kelowna council gives green light to cannabis shop rezonings

Seven rezoning applications for cannabis retail stores on council’s agenda Monday

Street signs, light knocked over in crash along Highway 97

Multiple signs and a light were knocked over at the Old Vernon Road interesection

Trailer stolen from Black Mountain, Lake Country business takes a hit

Little Lakes Contracting is asking for the public’s assistance to locate a trailer

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Most Read