We hear from police that in many parts of rural Alberta crime is actually down. Is it? Or are we just not reporting it to police as much as we should be?
As recent community meetings in Glendon and Hylo have shown, many residents are more willing to form social media groups to complain about crime than they are to file official complaints to police. Some feel they aren't getting the service from police, others say they fear potential repercussions from criminals who don't receive enough punishment because of a lenient justice system.
Our police forces work within that system. They are governed by that system and base their duties and targets on data and statistics gathered by complaint files. If we are going to change the system, change their system, and change the way the system treats victims, we have to affect the people who can change it. We aren't going to do that with angry social media posts or complaining that "there's never a cop when you want one."
Go to the people we elected to be our voice.
If you want to make those changes, it's time to get political. The region's federal members of parliament are the first part of that change. If their electorate wants change to happen, they should be ready to help. Federal justice laws govern how the RCMP operate. Federal justice laws govern how criminals are treated, and federal justice laws detail how witnesses and complainants fit into the system.
Many feel that the law-breakers are calling the shots these days, perhaps it's time to bring that responsibility back to the law-makers.
Contact information from Canadian Members of Parliament can be found at www.ourcommons.ca