'Vote-getting' crime stance

Call me a cynic but there must be an election coming up in the not too distant future.

Our city (Kelowna) wants to discuss crime. Just a few weeks back it led a joint petition to the province on this issue and yet, just eight months ago, it seemed it really wasn’t crime, it was a “health care” issue and needed to be treated as such. Strictly policing and locking people up doesn’t fix this problem, it said

Homelessness and petty crime are likely the biggest blight on this beautiful city and valley. I cannot imagine what tourists coming here must think of what they are seeing on our streets, hearing about and reading about.

I do believe many of the issues are the result of mental health and drug addiction issues. But city council and (our) mayor cannot on one hand say it’s not crime, it’s a health care issue and on the other hand say it wants better prosecution services to deal with criminals.

Why is it so difficult to see that the majority of the “criminals” are the people on our streets with mental health and drug issues?

I know that dealing with these issues is not a simple matter when our courts and justice system seems to ignore crime and provide so many get-away-with-it verdicts. It was the drugs that caused it. It was the alcohol addiction that caused it, It was the mental state of mind that caused it.

The result is the “catch and release” system we now have across our region, province and, indeed, our country.

But it is really up to our elected officials to get these legal interpretations corrected, to get our provincial and federal lawmakers to establish clarity in our laws and legal system to deal with these issues and not allow the Supreme Court of Canada justices to put their interpretation of the law into the mix. On top of that, they Supreme Court justices also bring in all the excuses they can find thanks to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

If the city wants to see changes to prosecution services, then it should rethink its health care issue stance or push that argument and stop trying to rethink the law. It can’t have it both ways because I believe it is really one and the same

Spending time and money on this just appears to be a vote-getting stance.

Malcolm Roberts, Kelowna

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