'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

  • Organizer of Saturday D.C. rally looks to rewrite Jan. 6 history

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The architect of a Washington protest planned for Saturday that aims to rewrite history about the violent January assault on the U.S. Capitol is hardly a household name. Matt Braynard worked as an analyst for the Republican Party, crunched data for a small election firm and later started a consulting business that attracted few federal clients, records show. Source
  • Rittenhouse hearing to decide on evidence allowed at trial

    World News CTV News
    MADISON, WIS. -- A judge was set to decide Friday whether jurors at the trial of a man accused of killing two men and wounding a third during a police brutality protest in Wisconsin last year will see video that prosecutors say shows him talking about wanting to shoot people. Source
  • Vancouver clinic to offer take-home medical-grade heroin in North America first

    Canada News CBC News
    The Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver is pioneering a new step in harm reduction by enabling some of its patients to take home medical-grade heroin. The program is the first of its kind in North America. Dr. Source
  • Minnesota Supreme Court rules Minneapolis voters may decide on abolishing the police department in upcoming elections

    World News CTV News
    The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters in Minneapolis may decide on abolishing the police department in the upcoming municipal elections. The measure, if approved, would amend the city charter to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety. Source
  • B.C. says it can't take patients from Alberta's overwhelmed ICUs

    Canada News CBC News
    B.C. says it won't be able to take any of Alberta's extra intensive care unit patients at a time when that province's hospitals are buckling under the weight of patients who are critically ill with COVID-19. Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS) said Wednesday it will ask other provinces if they can take ICU patients who need care, or spare staff that can work in intensive care units. Source
  • Cuba begins vaccinating children as young as 2

    World News CTV News
    HAVANA -- Sitting on her mother's lap, 2-year-old Lucia looked at the illustrations in her book while around her several children watched the doctors in white coats and nurses with thermometers in amazement. In an adjoining room, Danielito, also 2, sniffled while getting a shot as a clown tried to distract him. Source
  • Haiti PM, under fire, addresses evidence in leader's slaying

    World News CTV News
    PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI -- The office of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry issued its first public statement Thursday about evidence authorities say they have of phone calls between him and a key suspect in the presidential assassination, saying he received countless calls from people concerned for his safety following the slaying. Source
  • U.S. boosts security, warns risk of violence at pro-Trump Capitol rally

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Travellers arriving at the airport nearest Washington, D.C., will face increased security in the run-up to a planned Saturday rally supporting people charged with taking part in the deadly Jan. 6 riot, the U.S. Source
  • Lawyer charged in probe of Trump-Russia investigation

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The prosecutor tasked with examining the U.S. government's investigation into Russian election interference charged a prominent cybersecurity lawyer on Thursday with making a false statement to the FBI. The case against the attorney, Michael Sussmann, is just the second prosecution brought by special counsel John Durham in two-and-a-half years of work. Source
  • Florida surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths after especially deadly summer fuelled by delta variant

    World News CBC News
    Florida surpassed 50,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, health officials reported Thursday, with more than one-fourth of those succumbing this summer as the state battled a fierce surge in infections fuelled by the delta variant. Source