Kelowna mayor frustrated with ‘catch and release’ justice system

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran echoes the message from the local RCMP detachment – ​​the revolving door of prolific offenders must end.

The mayor’s comments, posted on his Facebook page, came the same day police issued a warning to the public about a man who had hundreds of RCMP records and who had again been released.

“It is totally unacceptable that a prolific offender like this is being released back into our community again,” Basran said. “The catch and release nature of our justice system is letting us all down. It’s frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for me, and it’s frustrating for our RCMP officers who keep arresting the same people over and over again.

The following day, Kelowna RCMP took to Twitter to explain that two more prolific offenders had been arrested, including one with 76 police records this year alone.

const. Mike Della-Paolera said the resources needed to get repeat offenders off the streets are simply not available.

“In my opinion, the money that is allocated to community services is not distributed correctly… It is not used correctly,” Della-Paolera said.

In 2021, Kelowna had the highest crime rate in the country and the second highest crime severity rate.

Basran said city staff pushed the provincial government to make the changes and add the resources to “break the cycle.”

“As co-chair of the BC Urban Mayors Caucus, we have pushed the province to finally address this issue and we now await their report and recommended changes. Hopefully they will go far enough to finally help bring about meaningful change for all of us.

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