The District of 100 Mile House will be reinstating a safety committee in the community.
Coun. Donna Barnett proposed bringing back the committee, which was in place while she was the district’s mayor for 16 years, after businesses raised concerns earlier this year about a rise in thefts and break-ins. About 30 businesses this past spring attended a private meeting, hosted by Barnett, following reports of an acceleration in crime over a six to eight-month period.
Attendees included Interior Health’s Dr. Carol Fenton, former RCMP Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen and MLA Lorne Doerkson. They heard concerns about rising homelessness, drug use and crime caused by a small group of mostly chronic offenders.
Barnett said she has discussed the idea of the safety committee with new Mayor Maureen Pinkney and hopes to organize it early in the new year. Her aim is to pull the various organizations together to see what they can do to address safety.
She made it clear the committee is intended to address more than just break and enters. “We want to know more about the opioid crisis and those sorts of things,” she said.
“This is for the whole South Cariboo. What happens in 100 Mile, happens in Bridge Lake – just that we’re miles apart.”
The previous committee was intended to improve safety within the South Cariboo. Their work included putting together a brochure on winter driving, writing letters when a speed zone was needed, performing a court watch and graffiti watch, Citizens on Patrol.
Council did not keep the program going when she left the mayor’s chair, Barnett said.