Coun. Barry Dalrymple called the province’s bail system “a revolving door” Monday, reflecting on recent crime across HRM, including shots fired over the weekend in the suburban community of Fall River.
“We can start to reign in our pathetic bail laws,” Dalrymple, who represents Fall River on council, said when asked how crimes in HRM could be curbed.
Dalrymple then said he believes “we have a situation here with a person who shouldn’t be out on bail and now it is drawing communities into the crossfire of warring gangs.”
Dalrymple wouldn’t specify whom he was talking about.
The shooting Saturday in his district was directed at the home of convicted drug dealer Jimmy Melvin Sr. CTV reported Jimmy Melvin Jr. was inside the residence at the time.
Both father and son have been targeted in shootings in recent months and are publicly suspected of feuding with the Marriotts over drugs.
But Dalrymple said the problem isn’t isolated, explaining he saw the system fail numerous times over his 33-year career as an RCMP officer.
“I know the trauma that this causes a neighbourhood,” he said.
Justice Minister Cecil Clarke said the province has done plenty to improve crime rates, such as funding the first ever public safety officer and adding 51 new police officers to the HRM’s forces, a $7.4-million investment. But he admitted high profile cases, “such as what we’ve seen with the Melvins,” remain a concern.
Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service spokeswoman Chris Hansen added crown attorneys and judges have to work within federal law under the Criminal Code of Canada.
“You can’t change the processes for specific individuals,” she said.