VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbia’s criminal justice system is getting a passing grade, but barely, in a new report out today from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
“It’s a disappointing grade. British Columbia is a large, prosperous province and yet ranked very poorly overall, eighth out of 13,” says Benjamin Perrin, a law professor at UBC who co-authored the report, which gives BC a C+ grade. “Several years ago a review was done finding that while crime rates are going down, the costs and delays are going up and those are just completely contradictory and very problematic,” says Perrin.
He says that trend has continued with the amount of violent crime in this province deemed moderate compared to the rest of the country.
But how police are able to handle that crime is troubling. “Our police do not do all that great at clearing violent crime. Only about half of such crimes are resolved, which is the worst record of any jurisdiction in Canada,” says Perrin.
We also ranked last in overall crime clearance rates. “There are serious problems with British Columbia’s criminal justice system. We have very-high rates of certain offenses,” says Perrin, noting the province’s property crime rates are the highest in the country.
We also lag behind the average when it comes to victims of crime. Only 1.4 per cent of convicted offenders are eventually ordered to pay restitution. “And rates of victim referrals are also much lower than in many other jurisdictions,” adds Perrin.
Prince Edward Island tops the list with a B-grade while the three territories came in at the bottom, with Yukon ranking dead last.