Friday, September 25, 2009

"The police are no longer in control"

The city has made national news. Read this article on Yahoo News. Is it getting worse? 


I live in Winnipeg, a city associated with high rates of auto theft and murder. In the past three weeks, two babies have been assaulted, a teen murdered and left in a cemetary, numerous beatings and shootings, and a man was set on fire. The family of the man who was immolated told the Winnipeg Sun that "the police are no longer in control".

And it's true.

I don't normally talk about politics on this blog, as I'm not qualified to explain my position well enough. But I do want to say this.

The police are no longer in control. My girlfriend's purse was stolen a week and a half ago, all of her identification, her cellphone, her money. It was stolen out of a locker at the Pan-Am Pool. You can just walk into the pool. You never have to pay. The staff don't even notice you. If I can walk right in, so can a couple teen girls with nothing better to do than steal my girlfriend's stuff.

Fair enough that this is a lesser crime than immolation, but the police haven't called her. At all. She had to spend her time on the phone, tracking down the right guy who knew what was going on, and all she got was an incident number. They didn't ask her for a statement. We have descriptions of the girls. We have the licence plate of the car they drove away in. We did the police work for them, and yet the police are too busy with egregious crimes.

But these awful violent crimes aren't being stopped or prevented. The resources for the police aren't being allocated properly. Dave Chomiak, our Minister of Justice, has created an anti-gang strategy, and a Aboriginal women at risk strategy, neither of which will be given NEW resources. All of the money has to come from other departments, departments which are clearly suffering and unable to do their job properly.

I don't blame the police officers for this. The good men and women who risk their lives every day (especially in our blood-soaked city) are deserving of our respect and our help, certainly not our scorn.

I blame the government. The police, infrastructure and education should always be top priorities for governments, not whether or not the Bombers get a new stadium.

The police are no longer in control in our city. Somehow, we must put the power back into the hands of the justice system. This is not an easy task. Our judicial system is one of the most incomprehensible ones in the world.

Read this article from the Sun. A woman is convicted of owning child pornography and is given a two week sentence. No that isn't a typo. Two weeks in jail.

Why are we so lenient? Why does our justice system fail us over and over and over again?

The police must take control. That is the social contract. Without law and justice, anarchy takes its place.

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