Province Announces Plan to Target Crime in Williams Lake
Williams Lake, B.C. – The provincial government has announced plans to help target the crime wave that’s plagued Williams Lake.
The Province says the new integrated community safety initiative (ICSI) “will strengthen collaboration among justice, health and social service partners to better address the roots of crime and violence in the region.”
Williams Lake and the Cariboo-Chilcotin will receive up to $500,000 in civil forfeiture grant funding to support the program.
The government says a local steering committee has also been established to prioritize community safety goals and guide targeted projects and activities over a two-year period in the following areas:
- Regional collaboration on public safety issues
- Training and community capacity building to enhance frontline response
- Programs and services to better prevent and respond to crime
Victoria says possible projects could include expanding the prolific offender management committee, enhancing restorative justice services, crisis intervention training and community safety mobilization workshops.
The steering committee is expected to finalize the activities in the coming months and an initiative co-ordinator will be hired to lead the work under the direction of the steering committee.
The program has the support of leaders in the region, including Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.
“Today’s news is something we have worked toward for some time. There is shared recognition of the need for more collaboration between agencies to address crime and violence across the region,” he says.
“The inclusive approach of the ICSI recognizes these issues don’t stop at the edge of the city or a particular First Nation, and I look forward to additional services, co-ordination and community safety as a result of this initiative.”
According to Statistics Canada, Williams Lake was ranked first (2014) in violent crime severity among more than 300 Canadian municipalities with a population over 10,000.