Working To Find Solutions for Problems at 3rd and George
Prince George, B.C. – “If there is an area that has come to our attention it is the area of 3rd and George” says RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown.
“It happens to be an area where vulnerable people need to be” says Supt. Brown because of the access to a variety of health and social services located within a small area.
Between 2011 and 2015, there has been a 22% increase in calls for service to that area. January of this year has already seen a 7% increase in criminal activity in that area. That may be in part because the local RCMP detachment has made an effort to have increased police presence in that area, however, Supt. Brown says the downtown unit has not had the support it should because of staffing shortages.
“Many people with addictions may require $100 a day to satisfy their addictions, some may need $500 a day, and these are people who don’t work. For females, they may be involved in the sex trade, and the risks that are associated with that” says Supt. Brown. But one thing is clear says Supt. Brown “We can’t arrest our way out of this”. He says many of the infractions involve what are considered nuisance charges and he wonders if the Court system would even want to move forward with charges “We have to find a new way of doing business” says Supt. Brown. He says adopting an Aboriginal Court model, which incorporates traditional cultural factors in dealing with certain offenders may be part of the solution.
He says the local RCMP detachment is working with stakeholders to find solutions and has asked the community to be patient, “Not only patient in a sense that we’re going to reduce crime in the area, but also in the way that we are doing everything we can to take a collaborative approach to identify a better way of doing business.”