The teenagers behind a disturbing swarming of a 14-year-old girl in a Richmond park last summer will not face any criminal prosecution.
The Richmond News reported last August how the girl was lured to Garden City Park at around 9 p.m. by some so-called friends.
According to the victim, she had been contacted by a girl known to her and arranged to meet her at the park.
Once there, she was reportedly confronted by at least 10 youths and, when she attempted to leave the area, she was pursued by the group.
An adult woman in the area, along with some family members and friends, came to the girl’s aid and shielded her from the group, which had followed her into the fenced Garden City dog park.
Despite the presence of other adults, the group continued to try to get at the girl, with one of the swarm firing a pellet gun in their direction.
According to one of the witnesses, one of the adults was spat on and her dog was shot at by a pellet gun.
Police arrested five youths later that evening.
A spokesperson for Richmond RCMP told the Richmond News this week that charges had been submitted to the BC Prosecution Service but they were not approved.
The News then contacted the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) and was told that the “most culpable suspects were dealt with through extrajudicial measures consistent with our policy on the Youth Criminal Justice Act.”
"Extrajudicial measures" handed out to swarming perpetrators
The BCPS spokesperson added that, “Given the nature of the resolution and the age of the parties, no further information can be shared.”
According to the BCPS policy on “extrajudicial measures,” it provides “a means other than judicial proceedings to deal with a young person alleged to have committed an offence.”
These include a caution in the form of a letter and an extrajudicial sanction.
“Justice does not require that every provable offence must be prosecuted. The resources of the criminal justice system are not unlimited. If reasonable alternatives are available, they should be pursued,” reads the BCPS policy.
Extrajudicial measures, it adds, “allow police to use alternatives to court to hold young people responsible for their actions.
“They allow victims of crime to be involved with decisions related to the extrajudicial measures selected and to receive compensation.
“Those programs that involve the youth, victim and community members in decision making are often associated with restorative justice.”