Witness Security Act
Most organized crime cases in B.C. hinge on testimony from an accused person’s former accomplices and informants. However, the application process for the federal program can lead to delays and stringent program requirements can cause low witness retention. These complications compromise B.C. prosecutions and frustrate investigating police agencies that have often worked for months to secure witness testimony. The proposed witness security act will establish a provincial program dedicated to securely managing witnesses and co-operating co-accused, complementing the existing federal program and facilitating treatment services for mental health challenges and addictions, name and identity changes, and job training. The act was developed to address the uniqueness of crime here in B.C. and will provide extra capacity to the police and Crown, which until now, have had to rely solely on the federal witness protection program.