A city in B.C.'s interior is hoping to crack down on violent crime by asking the province to restrict the sale of bear spray and machetes.

For the last four years, Williams Lake has consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in Canada.

RCMP Inspect. Warren Brown says machetes and bear spray are often used during violent crimes because they can be easily purchased.

"I think if the city could somehow better control that, you know we'd be a safer place," Brown told CBC News.

Williams Lake city council has asked the North Central Local Government Association to lobby the province to restrict the sale of those items, although it's not yet clear how those restrictions could be implemented in the future.

Jacques Drisdelle, a local hunter who teaches bear safety courses, says studies have shown bear spray is the most effective defence against a charging bear.

"No one using bear spray to stop a charging bear has been either seriously injured to killed," he said. "Bear spray is definitely the best tool available today to protect a person from a bear attack."

Drisdelle, who is a retired RCMP officer, says there needs to be a balance so that bear spray is still available for those who use it for protection in the wild.
with files from CBC's Marissa Harvey