David Eby
Premier David Eby (BC Gov Flickr)

David Eby announced on Wednesday afternoon that the province will be taking action to bring “stronger public safety” to communities across BC with new funding.

The $230 million in funding will help urban, rural and remote communities staff specialized units as part of the province’s Safer Communities Action Plan. The plan is meant to sustain and strengthen police’s capacity to enforce the law and prevent crime within BC.

The new funding that is being made available is particularly for rural, remote and Indigenous communities as well as  to create specialized teams for investigating complex, violent and organized crimes. 

Prosecutors and probation officers dealing with high-risk offenders will also benefit.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe, and my government is working on every front to protect our communities and make them stronger,” said Premier David Eby in a press conference on Wednesday. 

“As part of our Safer Communities Action Plan, we will help ensure that the RCMP can operate to its full capability to keep people safe. 

“The actions today will help stabilize policing and provide our provincial police force with the staff resources they need to address public safety concerns head on.”

The key issues the funding is meant to tackle are:

  • Filling policing vacancies in communities with less than 5,000 people
  • Allowing provincially funded RCMP to be fully-staffed in rural communities
  • Hiring additional officers for specialized units such as:
    • Major crimes
    • Sexual exploitation of children
    • BC highway patrol
  • Meeting recommendations for dealing with anti-money-laundering in BC

The province claims that public safety will improve through this funding because police in rural areas will have more capacity to deal with investigations when foul play is suspected.

“This historic commitment to invest in core RCMP police funding is a massive undertaking that took two years to achieve,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“Sustained core funding will provide a strong foundation for police resources, enabling the police to focus on violent crimes and other pressing public safety issues, while also actioning the implementation of the Safer Communities Action Plan and other public safety initiatives.”

Through the Safer Communities Plan the province says they will continue to prevent money laundering and organized crime that fuels the toxic drug supply and the opioid crisis. 

The province will also continue to reverse cuts to sexual assault centres, increase crime prevention and support victim services funding. 

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