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Kelowna mayor frustrated with ‘catch and release’ justice system

Colin Basran calls for provincial reform
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. (Contributed)

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran is echoing the message of the local RCMP detachment - the revolving door of prolific offenders needs to end.

The mayor’s words, posted to his Facebook page, came the same day police released a warning to the public about a man that had hundreds of RCMP files and who had once again been released from custody.

READ MORE: Man with over 420 police files released from custody in Kelowna

“It is completely unacceptable that a prolific offender such as this has once again been released into our community,” said Basran. “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 are continually 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, one with 76 police files this year alone.

Const. Mike Della-Paolera said that the resources needed to get repeat offenders off the street are just not available.

“In my opinion, the money that is being allocated to community services isn’t being doled out properly… It’s not being utilized properly,” said Della-Paolera.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP ‘numb’ from chasing repeat offenders

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

Basran added that city staff has been pushing the provincial government to make the changes and add the resources to “break the cycle.”

“As co-chair of the BC Urban Mayor’s Caucus, we pushed the province into finally addressing this issue and now we wait for their report and recommended changes. Let’s hope they go far enough to finally help make meaningful change for all of us.”


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Jake Courtepatte

About the Author: Jake Courtepatte

Editor of Kelowna Capital News & West K News since February 2022. I have spent the majority of my career working in the Toronto area as both a sports reporter and a general reporter.
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