Pickton Report Spurs Decade-Old Regional Police Force Debate

A recent report of a public inquiry into the failure of arresting Robert Pickton sooner has published its suggestions, which invoked the decade-old debate regarding a regional police department in the Vancouver area, i.e. the only major city in Canada not protected by a single, unified force.

The report submitted by Commissioner, Wally Oppal, explained that years of police failures, including the needless delay of Pickton’s arrest while the serial killer found more victims, is attributed to this problem. Oppal mentioned that systemic bias against sex workers was one of the primary reasons behind the failures, but he did add the fact that Pickton was committing crime in two separate cities, hence neither of the police force was coordinating which each other, which played a significant role. Oppal made a crucial recommendation, saying that the B.C. government shall form a new regional force, pointing out that only a single department will be able to deal with the poor collaboration between the rivalries of the Vancouver police and the RCMP in Port Coquitlam.

In wake of the inquiry’s decision, the justice minister of B.C., Shirley Bond, claimed that she is ready to discuss the idea, although she declined to respond whether she prefers regionalization or not. On the other hand, the Mayor of Delta, Lois Jackson, was rather more outspoken.  He specifically mentioned in an interview that he “totally opposed” the idea, saying that “I hate to say we’re better, but we certainly have put together the things we want to achieve in our community.”

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