B.C. Crown counsel group raises safety concerns, Eby says no move for courthouse
Health & Safety Courthouse vancouver workplace violence
Premier David Eby says the government is not currently considering the relocation of a provincial courthouse in downtown Vancouver, where the president of the British Columbia Crown Counsel Association says safety concerns are on the rise.
A statement from Adam Dalrymple says a recent attack on a prosecutor near the courthouse at 222 Main St. underscores the need for a “serious discussion” about whether it should be moved away from the Downtown Eastside.
Eby told an unrelated news conference that it’s not a move the province is looking to make but he is “very concerned” about the assault last Friday.
The premier says he has spoken with B.C. Attorney General Niki Sharma and she would be reaching out to the Crown Counsel Association, in addition to her other work to ensure the safety of courts and the justice system.
Dalrymple’s statement says the prosecutor was walking to work after parking her car when she was randomly attacked, sustaining injuries that sent her to hospital.
It says the attack reinforces growing concerns about public safety, and while the province provides security guards for people working in the courthouse, that’s not the case for witnesses, victims or the general public coming to court.
“Without (public safety), how can you ensure that justice is safe and accessible for victims and witnesses who come to court and don’t get security?” it says.
Police said the attack on the prosecutor was one of two assaults last Friday morning near Hastings and Columbia streets, about two blocks from the court.
A suspect was arrested and the assaults appear to have been random, police said.