EDITORIAL: Crime pays here

EDITORIAL: Crime pays here

More than 450 people attended the recent crime forum at the Oliver Community Centre, where many signed petitions calling for two additional RCMP officers and security cameras in the community. (Lyonel Doherty photo)

By Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle

We knew that last week’s crime forum would attract a lot of people, but not a whopping 450! Even OIB Chief Clarence Louie said he’s never seen so many non-band members in one room.

Many kudos to Shirley Zelinski and Michael Guthrie (and their volunteers) for organizing such an important meeting. It put the Town-sanctioned crime forum in June to shame, when only 40 people showed up.

What was surprising was the fact there was no heckling at the August 28 meeting. Not one, considering the subject matter.

The idea of establishing an official “working group” to look at security options for the community is worthy of exploration. Why not use some of that nine per cent tax increase for a few cameras and more security patrols?

It has also been suggested that the Town use any potential cannabis revenue to help fight crime. We already have roads, sidewalks and infrastructure, so let’s invest more on keeping our community safe from people who want to steal from us.

Seniors like Fern and John Gould should not be afraid to live in their own community. She spoke very candidly at the forum about her fear and anger after someone stole their truck. Now she has a baseball bat by her door and will likely use it on the next thief who poses as a window washer.

While Clarence Louie’s idea of naming names (in the media) is supported by many, that will likely never occur for young offenders who are protected from public shame, courtesy of our bleeding heart lawmakers. What’s wrong with identifying underage criminals? Too embarrassing for them? They might suffer blame and recrimination? Heaven forbid!

We concur with the frustration that the public is continually told that the RCMP know who the criminals are and where they live, but the question is why aren’t these heathens rounded up and put out of business? Of course, the problem is these criminals have rights. Really? Why do they have rights when they continually break the law?

The crux of the problem is the RCMP spend many hours building up cases and arresting these people, only to have lawyers use every questionable tactic to persuade the judges to go easy on their clients. It all starts with numerous delays in proceedings, another well orchestrated tactic to make more money and lessen the impact of the crime, not to mention victims’ memories.

Meanwhile, the police shake their heads in disgust, yet cannot voice any concerns. How is a system like this supposed to motivate them to help bring criminals to justice? But they still do despite being overworked and burdened by lack of resources.

It’s maddening that criminals are afforded every right in the book, superseding that of victims and hog-tying the RCMP.

Welcome to the Canadian judicial system, the land of opportunity for ne’er-do-wells and prolific offenders.

How long is it going to take to turn this ass-backward system around?

It is just so unconscionable.