NEWS RELEASE · 2nd November 2011
The Vancouver Police Department announced its first round of recommended charges stemming from the Vancouver riots on October 31st.
"The announcement of 163 charges being recommended to the Crown is an important first step," said Mr. Cummins. "The department is doing great work; it is too bad that the Liberal government's inability to properly fund the system will hinder further progress in this matter."
In British Columbia, in order for criminal charges to go to court, Crown prosecutors, which have been cut back under the Liberals, need to go through police recommendations and decide which will go to court.
"Under a BC Conservative government, we would not have to wait for our already over worked prosecutors to go through each case. The police would be empowered to press charges directly. That means that today, Chief Constable Chui would be able to tell us who is going to trial, not who might go to trial."
Lack of prosecutors is not the only problem. Once charges are laid, cases must go to court. British Columbia has seen a number of cases thrown out this year due to unacceptable delays. One of the causes of the delays is a lack of sheriffs in the court room, prompting judges to put off trials for safety reasons.
"Should these cases make it to trial, there is no guarantee that they will actually work themselves through the system. Lack of Liberal attention to the needs of court and public safety is one more chance that this process could be thrown off the rails."
"With all of these potential delays, rioters from London will be out of jail before we convict anyone. "
"Gimmicks like cameras in the courtroom are not going to ensure that these charges become convictions. Premier Clark, it is time to show some leadership and bring justice back to this province."