Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crime: When is the best time to tackle it?

Three people were shot in a seemingly random attack in Winnipeg's North End this weekend. The alleged gunman, described by some witnesses as methodical, was on foot or bike and shot his victims in three separate areas of the North End in a half hour time period. Of the three who were shot, two died of their injuries, while the third is still in hospital.

A horrific crime, especially considering that it appears to be random at this time. -- This kind of crime begs the question: Is Winnipeg getting more violent? And if so, what can be done to fix this problem?!

With the Civic Election less than 24-hours away, crime in Winnipeg is a hot topic.

I know for certain that mayoral candidate, Sam Katz, has already promised 58 new police officers on the streets if reelected. Good, but will 58 more police officers really fix this type of problem? Certainly, a beefed up police presence in crime riddled areas would be good, but will it do much of anything to actually solve the problem?

I think it will be great to have more officers, but I doubt it will do much in the way of cleaning up the streets.

Judy Wacylycia-Leis has vowed to "get to the root cause of crime" if elected, by offering up funding, programs and jobs for at risk people (including those in gangs.) -- This is something that Judy has been scoffed at for, because people don't seem to like the idea of investing time and money into the likes of gang members. I can understand that mentality, but I don't think that I agree with it.

Investing "in the root cause" of crime seems like a logical concept. -- What makes a person, like the anonymous gunman in the North End this weekend, into a killer, or a criminal, or a thief? Is there something that could have been done earlier in this person's life to prevent this type of behaviour?

Before we scoff at the notion of investing "in the root cause," perhaps we should see it it works first.

Perhaps we (as a city) should take a step back and look at why people do things (like commit crimes and murders), and try to fix it at the root, rather than letting it grow and fester.

I don't know.

This is a hot topic, and although I agree with Wacylycia-Leis about targeting the root cause of the problem, I still believe that people who commit crimes should serve due justice for them.

Ah well, tomorrow I guess we'll see what the rest of Winnipeg thinks about the issues...

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