Right in the centre - Crime needs to be curbed


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

I am a regular reader of newspapers and news websites. No surprise there, I guess. When I scan the news, what does surprise me, and I am certain surprises others, is how much arson, theft, assault and murder takes place. It is even more surprising that often the culprits have very long records. Why are we subjected to the tyranny of highly active repeat offenders?

I have, in the past, questioned why chronic repeat violent sexual offenders are allowed to be out in the community. It’s insane, but I am aiming this discussion at “lesser” crimes I guess. How can there be multiple cases of arson per month in Winnipeg? Somebody even tried to set Brandon’s Walmart on fire last week. They burned up a bunch of plastic lawn chairs and damaged the front of the store. It could have taken out the whole store. Numerous buildings in Winnipeg are burned every month and some multiple times. Why is there so much theft, shop lifting and car break-ins?

Observers of the crime scene will say that poverty breeds crime and that may be partly true. It’s also a bad rap on poor people as the vast majority of poor people wouldn’t stoop so low as to commit crimes. The liberal minded people who are always jumping to the defence of criminals are just plain wrong. Most criminals know it’s wrong and most know that there are alternatives. 

We have homeless shelters, food banks and we have numerous organizations dedicated to helping people. Before resorting to crime, maybe people should just ask for help.

Desperate people will resort to drugs and crime and that is a real thing and a real problem for the criminals and for everyone else. More has to be done, but it I contend that people who combine drugs and crime should be in an institution. They obviously can’t look after themselves and in falling short of that goal, they harm many other people along the way.

I have no patience with tough guy cops, but I also have little patience with people who continually make excuses for criminals and drug abusers.

Then there are the victimizing drug pushers. That’s a whole other problem. Anyone who sells or pushes illegal drugs and victimizes people by getting them started on drugs deserves little sympathy.

There is a steady stream of proposed solutions and it’s time progress was made. It may mean more police. Seems like the police don’t have time to even come out to shoplifting crimes so obviously we need more police. Probably need more treatment centres, yes, even more jail cells. We certainly need a speeded up court system.

I am even willing to go along with safe injection, but has anyone figured out how many we would need? Will Winnipeg need 20 sites? Will every town need one? Just having the government set up one site in downtown Winnipeg won’t accomplish much.

All of the above is just talk and that’s all I have the authority to do. We don’t need more talk, we need more action and we need it fast.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.