March 5, 2008
Media contact: Anne Russell
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UCFV’s Plecas to present in Oxford
|| Darryl Plecas
British Columbia is world-renowned for its natural beauty, but also for its sophisticated indoor marijuana grow-op industry.
Partly because growers in this province are on the cutting edge of this underground industry, BC is also becoming a world leading in combating the illegal operations.
Dr. Darryl Plecas, the holder of the RCMP Research Chair in UCFV’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, is heading to Oxford University in England next week to take part in the prestigious Oxford Round Table and present research on new ways of addressing the grow-op challenge.
“We know that marijuana grow ops are often connected to organized crime, and also that there are public harm and safety issues that go with growing marijuana indoors illicitly,” said Plecas. “Our research has focused on using alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system approach as an added enforcement tool. This involves addressing grow ops as a public safety hazard and involving partners such as fire departments and civic bylaw enforcement teams.”
Plecas had a number of co-authors on the paper he’ll be presenting: Parvir Girn, a crime analyst with Surrey RCMP and UCFV criminology graduate; Len Garis, Fire Chief for the City of Surrey; and Paul Nadeau, RCMP Superintendent, Director, Drug Branch, National Headquarters, all of whom have worked with Plecas on researching and addressing new ways of approaching the grow-op issue.
The Oxford Round Table is an invitation-only forum that provides an opportunity for select leaders in both the public and private sectors, as well as scholars, to discuss government policy over a five-day period in a collegial, "think-tank" atmosphere in the ancient city of Oxford, England.
It was first convened 20 years ago to consider major issues in contemporary educational policy. The meeting was of such success that subsequent sessions were held. During the later half of the of the 1990s, the Round Table expanded to consider important public policy matters bearing on human rights, law, economics, public finance and politics.
“The fact that representatives from UCFV and local agencies have been invited to share our research really illustrates how seriously regarded our research is internationally,” noted Plecas.