B.C., – An RCMP plane with Vancouver Police Department and British Columbia Sheriff Service vehicles.
For nearly five years, wanted criminals looking to hide in British Columbia have been given a clear message: they cannot hide out in BC and they will be sent home to face their criminal charges in other jurisdictions.
British Columbia’s Fugitive Return Program, which is nearing the fifth anniversary of its formal creation, has become a valuable tool for police forces across BC in maintaining public safety, returning wanted criminals to other provinces and territories to face criminal charges.
“This program continues to receive annual funding from BC civil forfeiture proceeds, which we dedicate to supporting a variety of crime prevention and public safety projects,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris. “Given the serious charges that many of the fugitives face in other jurisdictions, it’s important for us to take the initiative – in the interest of justice and the safety of our province.”
72 to Alberta; 34 to Ontario ; 19 to Manitoba; 10 to Saskatchewan; 6 to Quebec; 6 to Nova Scotia; 2 to the Yukon; and 1 to the Northwest Territories.
“From a policing perspective, the program has been incredibly successful,” says Assistant Commissioner Jim Gresham, Criminal Operations Officer, Investigative Services and Organized Crime. “When wanted criminals from across Canada surface in British Columbia, we are able to identify them, work with our policing partners and send them back to face criminal proceedings – before they can take up a criminal lifestyle in our communities.”
While anyone with an outstanding warrant is eligible to be returned, police say that those sent back through the BC Fugitive Return Program tend to have very serious charges against them including, but not limited to, assaults (both sexual and physical), weapons related offences and drug related offences.
“The Fugitive Return Program and the B.C. Sheriff Services contribute to the integrity of the justice system and the safety of communities, not only in B.C. but across the country,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “I commend the dedication and hard work of the Sheriff Services in helping to achieve this important milestone.”
The B.C. Fugitive Return Program (BCFRP) is a program managed by the RCMP and a joint management team consisting of the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP. This program is funded by the Civil Forfeiture Office, which has provided $190,000 to date, and B.C. Sheriff Services under the Court Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice. On February 15, 2012, the B.C. government, the RCMP, all B.C. municipal police agencies and B.C. Sheriff Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which led to the establishment of a protocol governing the program.
File # FRP 150
B.C. Fugitive Return Program (BCFRP)