Opinion

Violence begets frustration

Editor:

Re: Increase city’s security, Jan. 8 column.

After the unprovoked senseless slaying of 53-year-old Surrey mom Julie Paskall, Newton has finally had enough and is determined to take back its community from a long-festering history of crime.

The usual responses to crime and crime prevention, as put forward by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts – such as more police presence, intensified video surveillance, mental-health initiatives, drug enforcement, etc. – can be effective measures for the embattled community of Newton.

However, no progress to combatting an escalating situation of street crime will be made unless we tackle the fundamental judicial problem of the courts routinely handing out soft or no sentences… sending convicted felons back on the street through the revolving door of a ‘catch-and-release’ justice system, only to re-offend.

Instead of feebly portraying violent criminals as ‘victims of societal exclusion,’ measures to help put an end to street crime must entail, first and foremost, resolute legislation for tougher sentencing that would send a clear message to would-be felons that judicial tolerance for street crimes is over.

What is needed now is political courage to act.

Enough with ‘Crime and Punishment Canadian-Style,’ where the rights of convicted criminals trump the fate of their very real victims. Where lenient sentences have made drug trafficking and organized crime the ‘crime that pays.’ Where bail is granted, few questions asked and criminals are free again to roam the streets.

E.W. Bopp, Tsawwassen

• • •

Re: Police shift ‘backs separate detachment,’ Jan. 7.

I feel that White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin sows the seeds of mistrust well for our South Surrey neighbours.

Baldwin’s fear-mongering lacks any supporting statistical data.

The RCMP is one of several large, responsive and adaptive policing agencies in our province. The citizens of South Surrey will be just as safe as before, facing no noticeable reduction in service from the RCMP that serve them.

I am sure that Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and the Surrey RCMP will advance a strong police presence at the street level in the many weeks to come. The RCMP in Surrey has a complement of staff that has a traffic section that well exceeds that of the entire White Rock RCMP detachment. If members are seconded from various details of the Surrey RCMP, they will not miss a heartbeat of service to the citizens they serve.

While the RCMP members of the White Rock detachment continue to serve their community in a stellar fashion, their cost should remain a major concern to ratepayers.

Not unlike the White Rock Fire Department, however, the RCMP detachment should be amalgamated with the City of Surrey for cost savings and efficiency.

There is no room for taking an elitist point of view, given the terrible and tragic loss of a ‘hockey mom’ in recent weeks. This is not the time, as well, to grandstand as a politician, no matter what political stripe, when the only appropriate action is sending condolences to the family and our neighbouring community who are suffering a terrible loss.

Ron Eves, White Rock

• • •

Re: Newton residents want a show of force, Jan. 9.

Your front page gave insight into the narrow minds of many that show up to emotionally charged meetings.

One lady, in an appeal to the killer, said: “I don’t care who you are, you need to stand up and be a man.”

I would like to know why it had to be a man that did the crime? That is a very sexist and wrong thing to say.

Why preclude 50 per cent of the population as a suspect?

Marcus Konstantin, Surrey

 

 

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