Kamloops MP tables bill he says will help tackle street crime, free up police resources

Bill targets prolific offenders

The Conservative MP for Kamloops has tabled a bill seeking to make it more difficult for some prolific offenders to get bail.

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Frank Caputo released a statement Thursday saying his Private Members Bill C-274 gives parliament a chance to respond to an 2020 Supreme Court of Canada decision, R v. Zora, that made detention for people awaiting trial “exceptionally rare.”

Caputo said this court decision has impacted law enforcement and strained police resources, citing comments from Kamloops’ RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky who said about 5 per cent of offenders are creating 90 per cent of officers’ work.

“Municipalities have been raising the red flag on the rise in street crime. Residents of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo are begging for changes in the law so that crime can be addressed,” Caputo said.

“These requests have fallen on deaf ears. It’s time we give law enforcement the tools needed to protect victims and keep the public safe.”

Caputo said his bill would create a "presumption detention" for those accused of three indictable offences with a maximum penalty of five years or greater.

He said this would only target those that commit serious offences, and would give judges the discretion to release an individual under exceptional circumstances.

“Simply put, parliament must respond to this court decision [R v. Zora]. Bill C-274 gives parliament an opportunity to respond,” Caputo said.

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