I have been watching the crime in Nanaimo lately. The rise is alarming. Even more alarming are the types of crimes. They run the gamut, but too many involve weapons and create dangers for the public. Break and enters are at an all time high. A 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted. Drugs are commonplace, and women are not safe at an ATM.
The Nanaimo of today reminds me of the Surrey of years ago, back when Surrey was a hotbed of criminal activity, instead of a totally “out of control” city. Accordingly, I fear for Nanaimo if something doesn’t change, and change quickly
The RCMP police both Surrey and Nanaimo. I have the utmost respect for our RCMP. It is one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the world, and its name is synonymous with Canada. However, because of its fame, the upper levels of the RCMP seem too concerned about politics as opposed to fighting crime.
As a political entity, and because of the breadth of the RCMP’s responsibilities, including terrorism, its systems are often slow to react to the needs of individual communities. This is especially true as its brass seem overly concerned about image rather than about police work.
This has created a culture wherein every action will be second guessed, forcing RCMP Members to have to worry about whether or not their actions will meet the absolute approval of their bosses. That is no way to run a business or a police force. And it is certainly no way to effectively manage and maintain human resources.
Accordingly, as they grow and crime naturally increases the policing needs of cities like Surrey and Nanaimo are often lost in a maze of bureaucracy designed to serve the dual purpose of policing and image building. This maze attempts to micromanage the image of every RCMP detachment as well as its effectiveness through an ever growing voluminous set of rules, regulations and protocols.
This style of management was a catastrophe for Surrey and will be a catastrophe for Nanaimo.
The RCMP, as do other Canadian police organizations, goes out of its way to hire the best it can find. Then, it invests significant dollars in training and education. Consequently, its Members consist of skilled, honorable, dedicated, and efficient men and women.
This is necessary because police work is dangerous, and the danger can come fast and out of nowhere. Accordingly these men and women must sometimes make instantaneous life and death decisions or decisions that involve citizen safety and/or officer safety.
When they do so, their minds should not be clouded with concerns about the image of the organization. They have to be able to make these decisions as a reaction. They do not have time to mentally thumb through a book of regulations partially based on keeping the red serge free of any lint.
My message to the RCMP brass, at all levels:
You trained them, now empower them and trust them. Let them do their job, and you do your job. Your job is to ensure they have the needed tools and manpower. And your job is to back them up and support them.
The RCMP is not just a glossy image on a tourist brochure. It is the men and women who represent their country, their community and their leaders. They serve all of the above with courage and with pride. Give them your respect and their due.
My message to the Nanaimo Crown Counsel:
If Nanaimo is lost to crime, you, as much as anybody, are responsible. But you sit back and collect your pay cheques, and you do nothing to earn them. You push paperwork around instead of actually prosecuting cases. Your record is one of laziness and failure.
The RCMP can bring you the criminals, and it has, but it is your job to back up your community and your police by prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. Get on it. The time to do so is now. It is time to remember why you went to law school and get off your butts and actually try a case.
My message to the Nanaimo City Council:
You have hired a world renown police force. The Nanaimo detachment has proven its worth to you on countless occasions. It has kept the Red Scorpions in check. It has the Hells Angels on guard, and it has arrested countless drug dealers, burglars and violent offenders. In other words, it has done its job and done it well.
Now, if you want to save your city, it is time for you to do your job. It is time that the criminals understand that there is accountability for breaking the law
The time has come for you to support these men and women who defend your city. It is time for you to contact the RCMP in Ottawa. Tell the brass that Nanaimo is in danger, not because of lack of performance by the Nanaimo detachment, but because of a dearth of manpower. Then let Ottawa know that this is an emergency. Make them hear your voice.
Next, call Crown Counsel. Then tell them what is happening in your city. Demand that they start prosecuting cases instead of plea bargaining them. Demand that they step up the way the RCMP has.
My message to the Nanaimo judiciary:
You are the last line of defense. Accordingly, Nanaimo will fall to the criminals just as Surrey has fallen unless you remember a few phrases
- Justice for the victim
- Let the punishment fit the crime
- Jail before bail
- Protect the citizens
RCMP brass, Nanaimo City Council, Crown Counsel and the the Courts are failing the City of Nanaimo and it is now at risk of turning into Surrey.
It is time to give the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment the support it needs. It is time to save Nanaimo.
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