'Putting fear into people': B.C. city council wants to track criminals with GPS implant

A B.C. community is taking a page out of dystopian science fiction novels with a new approach to battling crime: track criminals using microchips.

See Full Article

Williams Lake city council voted unanimously on Tuesday on a proposal to inject high-risk offenders with a GPS tracking device.

"Whether they’re walking downtown, whether they’re having a bath, whether they’re having dinner, we don’t care. We want to know where they are and what they’re doing," Williams Lake Coun. Scott Nelson, who introduced the motion, told CTV Vancouver.

Williams Lake has ranked among the top municipalities on Statistics Canada's Crime Severity Index rankings in recent years.

In the most recent ranking, the city was ranked top of the index for violent crime severity for cities with a population greater than 10,000.

The proposal came after Williams Lake RCMP released a video on Monday showing a man walking up to a teen at a skate park, pulling a gun out and taking his bike.

"Prolific offenders are in every community across British Columbia, and the biggest problem we’ve got in Williams Lake is that they’re putting fear into people," Nelson said.

The proposal has civil liberties advocates worried but they don't expect the proposal to go very far.

"It’s not constitutional," said Micheal Vonn, the policy director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. "It would be challenged very, very quickly, I can assure you.

"Certainly the notion of injecting it into anybody's body is, as I say, not anything that a Canadian court is going to take kindly to."

However, Vonn says the reasoning behind the plan should generate discussion.

She says the fact councillors' are so concerned by crime they're proposing a tracking system shows the community has reached the peak of its frustration and anger.

Despite Nelson and the rest of the Williams Lake council's hopes, the proposed technology doesn't appear to exist.

Radio frequency implants, a type of microchips, have been implanted in pets but they only contain data, not the ability to provide a tracking ability.

Biohackers have recently been able to install microchips in humans, roughly the size of two grains of rice, but they only contain personal identification details.

The B.C. government says it's unaware of the technology desperately wanted by city officials.

"I am not familiar with the particular technology that is being referred to," Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris told CTV News, adding that the province is working on a community safety pilot project in the area.

B.C. has recently approved tracking criminals with the use of cumbersome electronic monitoring bracelets and even then, they're only allowed for rare cases.

The city is forwarding its motion to the Union of B.C. Municipalities and Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty.

With a report from CTV Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 1 dead, 7 hurt after Ohio fair spinning ride Fire Ball breaks apart

    World News CBC News
    A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio state fair on Wednesday, hurtling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source
  • Travellers warned of possibly tainted alcohol in Mexico

    World News Toronto Sun
    MILWAUKEE — The U.S. State Department is warning tourists going to Mexico about reports of tainted or substandard alcohol causing drinkers to become sick or pass out. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported about travellers becoming sick after drinking alcohol at Mexican resorts. Source
  • Video captures moment ride breaks apart at Ohio State Fair; 1 killed, 7 hurt

    World News Toronto Sun
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source
  • WATCH: Cellphone video shot by California inmates shows escape [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Video shot by three inmates with a smuggled cellphone shows their methodical escape through a vent at the maximum-security wing of a Southern California jail last year, along with scenes from their days on the run. Source
  • Teen pleads not guilty in fatal crash streamed on Instagram [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS BANOS, Calif. — A California teenager pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving after she lost control of her car while livestreaming on Instagram and recording a crash that killed her younger sister. Source
  • Video captures moment ride malfunctions at Ohio State Fair; 1 killed, 7 hurt

    World News Toronto Sun
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball broke apart on the opening day of the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, hurling people through the air, killing at least one and injuring seven others. Source
  • Argentina sentences 4 ex-judges for dictatorship-era crimes

    World News CTV News
    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Four former federal judges in Argentina were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the country's last dictatorship in a ruling human rights groups are calling historic for punishing the regime's civilian accomplices. Source
  • B.C. wildfire forces evacuations, threatens structures near Kamloops

    Canada News CTV News
    KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- A rapidly-moving wildfire has forced people to flee dozens of properties east of Kamloops, B.C. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for 39 properties in Monte Lake Wednesday night, saying a fire burning in the area posed an "imminent threat" to people and property. Source
  • Cellphone video shot by California inmates shows escape

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Video shot by three inmates with a smuggled cellphone shows their methodical escape through a vent at the maximum-security wing of a Southern California jail last year, along with scenes from their days on the run. Source
  • North Korea mysteriously cancels beer fest, but unveils new brew

    World News CTV News
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- North Korea has suddenly cancelled a popular monthlong beer festival, but people won't be going thirsty in a country where brews are cheap and carry the ruling family's seal of approval. Source