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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — A vigilante group calling themselves Citizens Take Action spoke with council again about the rise in crime in Dawson Creek. 

The group initially spoke to council in their meeting on November 21st, where they made multiple requests to council, all of which were denied. 

The group returned to the council in their most recent meeting on December 5th. The group told council multiple stories of their experiences with property damage and theft in the city. 

In both their presentation and a letter to council written by Barry Ross, the group denied the labelling of them as a vigilante group.

“We have made it very clear to our members to not do illegal acts and have engaged the services and provided a retainer for an out-of-town criminal lawyer to help define those boundaries,” Ross stated in the letter. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a vigilante is “a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.” 

After the presentation, council and the group discussed that there had been improvements since the last meeting in terms of RCMP cooperation and that crime had been going down. However, the group was concerned that this needed to continue. 

Member Doug Scott asked of council, “Where do we go from here?” 

The group requested that a Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) be created for the city, which they claim was suggested to them by the RCMP.

Councillor Jerimy Earl said that with the participation of the RCMP, it was time to start “applying pressure to the court.” 

He suggested that the Crown was absent from the conversation at hand and that having a member of Crown council, BC Courts, or the Ministry of Justice in on the conversation would be beneficial. 

To this end, Dawson Creek council motioned for a representative from the Ministry of the Attorney General to do a presentation. 

The Concerned Citizens Group has grown to over 80 members. According to the letter, the group has also received inquiries from groups in other communities. 

Recently, the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce has helped in the relaunching of Citizens on Patrol (COPs) and is currently seeking volunteers for the organization. 

The second letter written to Dawson Creek City Council can be read below.

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.