There’s an urgent need for tougher penalties against repeat violent offenders if we want safer communities and schools, said speakers at an event to end violence yesterday in Burnaby.
Around 15 speakers, including local MLAs Bruce Ralston, Adrian Dix and Mike Farnworth, converged on Confederation Park for the first National Victims Of Crime Awareness Event.
David Toner, with Families Against Crime And Trauma, said offenders like Ryan Crossley, a 10-time convicted young offender who stabbed Jesse Penner to death in Port Coquitlam last year, should be given more than the maximum three years.
James Miller, president of End Youth Violence, said communities also need better intervention programs, like one he offers schools, social agencies and police departments.
“Parents didn’t know where to find info and resources about counselling services and conflict resolution,” he said. “The line of communication has broken down and that’s created an escalation of youth violence,” Miller said. “People have to dig in their heels and demand change.”
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