B.C. police chiefs champion new fugitive return fund

Program sends clear zero-tolerance message to criminals: minister

Police agencies throughout the province can now access a $40,000 pot of money every year to return fugitives to provinces where they are wanted on outstanding warrants.

Police chiefs throughout B.C. signed their agencies up for the new Fugitive Return Program on Feb. 14. The provincial government program, the first of its kind in Canada, “… strengthens public safety and sends a clear message to criminals that they won’t escape justice in B.C.,” Solicitor General Shirley Bond said in a statement.

The new initiative is based on successful Con Air programs initiated by the Victoria and Vancouver police departments in 2008-09, which have been partly funded with more than $100,000 from the province’s civil forfeiture program.

The Fugitive Return Program, which has been tested out since last summer by a number of police agencies, including the VicPD, is being co-ordinated by the RCMP.

It will be up to the federal agency’s major crimes section to prioritize which fugitives are returned first, such as prolific and high-risk offenders.

“There is a void for sort of the low-end chronic offenders who have multiple warrants in multiple jurisdictions,” said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen, “but you as a Crown prosecutor wouldn’t go to the expense to bring them from one province to the next.”

The new initiative will compliment Victoria’s Con Air program, through which at least 19 suspects have been escorted beyond B.C.’s borders, said VicPD Const. Mike Russell. The Vancouver department transported 98 people out of B.C. in the same time frame.

“We still have the ability to return people on their warrants through Con Air,” he said of the local program, which has been partly funded by the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “If we couldn’t fly them back quick enough through the Fugitive Return Program, we could fly them back through Con Air.”

The new provincial money represents a boost for B.C. police agencies, especially smaller departments with tight budgets.

“(Returning fugitives) can be very expensive, depending on where they are from,” Oak Bay Police Chief Const. Mark Fisher said. He added the expense includes travel costs for officers and the prisoners they are escorting.

Under B.C.’s Fugitive Return Program, B.C. sheriffs will escort fugitives.

“It gives us another option to deal with a serious offender we have from another province,” Fisher said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Influx of skilled tradespeople falling behind Greater Victoria construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read