Mayor Hall Reacts to Recent Acts of Violence
Prince George, B.C. – Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall has weighed in on the recent shootings that have shaken Prince George.
The first occurred 10 days ago at a residence on Freeman Street where stray bullets narrowly missed an innocent family.
The other ended in tragedy last week when a 30-year old man was gunned down in front of a home at the corner of Ospika Boulevard and Forest Avenue.
Police have said both incidents were targeted and related to the drug trade.
“My immediate reaction was I’m very concerned. The first shooting, when innocent people are in jeopardy, that concerns me to no end. I’m just grateful that particular family wasn’t injured,” says Hall.
In light of the shootings though, he still believes the community is a safe place to live.
“You talk about what happened with the two shootings and obviously they’re gang related. There’s an element in every city, including ours, where you have criminal activity and the RCMP are doing a great job to try to mitigate all of that.”
Hall also says his council has taken a proactive stance on crime since his term began, starting with agreeing to fund extra police officers.
“So the RCMP came to us, asked for us to enhance the workforce there and so we’ve got approval for three new members and one civilian staff member. That’s going to help out in their complement of members and the work they’re able to do.”
He says council has also made strides in their remedial action work. “Not just the neglected buildings or properties, but we’ve taken a look at two areas and closed the Willow Inn and the Connaught because we are concerned about the crime element,” says Hall.
“That I think in itself tells the community we’re trying to make it a safer community and by not having those two locations up and running and operating as they had been with the crime element around them, I think it’s made us a safer community.”
Despite the progress, he acknowledges that perception sometimes trumps reality, and that some critics may point out Prince George isn’t the safe community he says it is.
“You’re right, perception sometimes as you say is reality and I know we’re going to hear those comments. I know I’m going to hear them and council members are going to hear ‘oh, another shooting in Prince George.’ It kind of goes along with what happened a few years ago,” says Hall.
“I absolutely get that but as I’ve said people can say what they want to say and I think part of our job as a community is to show the good things that take place. This is a strong, vibrant community, it’s an energetic community and we have a number of good things happening here over the last number of years and we continue to do that.”
Despite this I still feel pretty safe in the community. There are 75,000 plus people who live and call PG home and the RCMP has in my mind done a great job for the crap they deal with on a daily basis. Most definitely can’t have a cop standing on every bad corner of the city to prevent Crime.
I totally agree. I feel completely safe whenever I’m out in town, and I spend the majority of my time in the downtown core. The VLA will continue to be a long term problem as it is full of problematic people. The VLA skews Prince George’s crime stats just like Vancouver/Toronto housing prices skews the national average. PG is a great place to be, and the RCMP and current City Hall leadership seem to be more attentive to it then ever before.
We may have a **safe** community relative to the overall population, however when you have situations where people are being gunned down, or shootings are taking place in the City limits then you need to take action.
We may have closed the Willow Inn, and the Connaught, however the question then becomes. Where have the people from these places gone.??? My guess is they are still here, and congregating in some other part of the City.
There is no quick fix to this situation, and I think that moving those who commit crimes down the road, only causes the same problems for other towns and cities. So once again we are back to incarceration, and of course all the space issues, court time, and social issues attached with incarceration. So do we continue to put band aids on this problem, or do we get proactive and start to issue jail sentences with rehabilitation components attached, and have these people put into jail for a period of time that will allow them to make changes to their lives if they chose, and also help them make these changes. The alternative is more of the same.
Longer jail time, and more rehab, may cost us, and the Provincial, and Federal Governments some money however in the end it may be the only answer.
If we stay with the status quo then it is only a matter of time until innocent people start to get hurt.
If the perpetrators of these crimes are involved in such activities “for the money”, (and ‘easy money’, too), which seems to be the case where drug trafficking is involved, are they likely to be rehabilitated successfully if the employment they may be able to get afterwards is uncertain, pays them less money, and comparatively is far from ‘easy’?
Compared to the mid to late 2000’s when the gang war was in full swing and shootings were sometimes a daily occurrence and open violence was not uncommon during daylight hours to now it’s almost night and day. The city has cleaned up pretty good gang violence is pretty low key and police are very proactive
Sadly no matter how hard the police try gangs nor violence will ever be completely eradicated all they can do is target and keep pressure on the gangs to keep it to a minimum.
No kidding. It was Detroit 1970’s here at one point.
As PG grows, and I think it is in a new phase now. We will attach more crime. I like that Mayor Hall as put more dollars to help with the issues. I use to live on kingsway in Burnaby in the ninety’s and compared to that PG still a super great place friendly place.
benny. Look at the stats for the past 10 years or more. PG is not growing. In fact it is shrinking. So much for that argument. What is growing is the number of shootings, and this has to be addressed one way or the other. We cannot have people shooting at each other under any conditions.
The fact that we cannot bring this situation under control is a reflection of our policing, and our justice system. Murder of any person, criminal or otherwise is unacceptable, and those responsible need to be dealt with.
A very small percentage of the overall population is criminal and we should be able to bring this situation under control by using the laws that are on the books, and by sentencing law breakers in accordance with the seriousness of the crimes committed.
I guess the Province should have had the gun amnesty month in June instead of waiting until October, the bad guys would have turned their guns in!!
The only effective way to reduce crime is to “eliminate the crimina”. The ball is then in the hands of the justice system to get their act together and put these perpetrators in a facilities away from our communities. This would also creat employment and benefit our economy!
If jail were the answer, the U.S. would be the safest country in the world. .16% of Canada’s population is in jail, and .0694% of America’s. 424% more.
Have you ever seen a gun battle between private liquor store owners, a shouting match maybe? Alcohol is addictive, it destroys lives, but it’s legal.
So there’s your answer. Legalize everything, and let people who want to be stoners, be stoners.
And maybe instead of spending $100,000 a year to incarcerate people, we can utilize those funds for the growing rehab business.
But winning the war on drugs, can’t happen as long as people want them.
The difficulty I have with legalisation of every mind altering substance is what can happen while under the influence the user may be subjecting others to. If we had a way of preventing those who crave drugs or alcohol from ever doing anything physically harmful to anyone else while they’re stoned or drunk, I’d have no problem with them drugging themselves or drinking themselves into oblivion, if that’s what they want to do with their lives. But we don’t. And while what’s potentially dangerous in regards to such people ever driving while blitzed on their substance of choice is well known, as is spousal abuse, there are many other instances where their ‘habit’ can have a disastrous effect on others. Such people in the workplace are not only a hazard to themselves, they pose a real risk to their fellow workers. And to their employer, financially, for if they have an accident it’s up to him now to prove to WorkSafe that it wasn’t his fault. That could be really hard to do, even with random drug testing.
BTW, that should be .0016% Can .00694% US.
The USA recidivism rate is 80% because the focus is on punishment . The Norwegian recidivism rate is 20 % because their focus is on rehabilitation , education and intigration . Logic werks . Ideology doesn’t .
Most people cannot grasp the simple logic, that if you put a criminal away for a few years he will not be committing any crimes. Whether he is rehabilitated, or becomes a career criminal is moot.
The bottom line is we cannot have people going around cities shooting each other or innocent bystanders. People have the right to a safe society, and we as a society need to deal with criminals who ignore the basic rights of other citizens.
The fact of the matter is, we do not have any other *choices* we need to deal with the problem. Comparing statistics with other countries is a waste of time and effort. If we make it difficult for people who commit crimes, then we would (hopefully) reduce the crime rate.
The catch and release system we have been using for the past number of years doesn’t seem to be working, so we need to improve the system.
Part of the problem is that Governments do not want to spend the money to properly police cities and towns.
A couple thoughts.
1) Have the city give each homeowner a one time $100.00 tax credit if they install video cameras.
2) Tell home owners that convicted gang members or drug dealers live in their neighbourhood. If we can let people know where sex offenders live why not gang members or drug dealers?
Having video camera’s all over the place is not a solution. The police know who are committing most of these crimes, and no doubt wish the the offenders would be put away for a longer period.
We have a system in place to deal with this problem, but we don’t use it to its potential.
Being soft on crime eventually makes us victims of crime.
They may know who is committing the crime, sometimes they just don’t have court-solid proof that they committed the crime.
Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall has weighed in on the recent shootings that have shaken Prince George.
Shaken? I don’t feel shaken! Do you feel shaken?
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