Tuesday 15 April 2008

Missing the mark on car theft

It was a bad day for Harper in the pages of the Free Press today.

First, there was the Candian Press front page headline story RCMP raid Tory headquarters in election probe, which, if you read the story, is somewhat misleading. There was the thing about Bernier calling for the resignation of the governor of Kandahar. There was a poll that people want the GST increased again. General Hiller is retiring, and now Grapes on Kenaston is closing before Harper had a chance to eat there.

Then there was "PM told anti-theft promise a miss". Right off the bat, I gotta say that it was a big mistake for Harper to make this announcement in Winnipeg. I can only assume that some advisor told him that Winnipeg is the "car theft capital of Canada" so it might be appropriate. But seriously, that was dumb. Organized chop shops are the least of out problems.

The Free Press jumped all over it, telling us that Harper "disappointed" a "victim". Was he a victim of organized crime? NO. How can you "miss" something that you're not aiming for? The story is followed up with a web poll Do you think proposed federal 'chop shop' legislation will make the streets safer? where, surprisingly, 14% of people voted "Yes".

Next time Harper comes to town, he better have a new Youth Criminal Justice Act in his hands. I am sure one of the two local papers will still roast him, but at least he would be a more difficult target.

Still on the topic of car theft, this time of the "punk" variety ... I generally like Dan Lett's stuff but I think he's off the mark today. He argues that longer sentences aren't the answer:

Supporters of harsher penalties will argue that they are just one part of an effective campaign, meant to work in concert with enhanced social programs and anti-theft initiatives. The reality is that tougher laws with longer sentences tend to eclipse those other initiatives.

Longer sentences mean more people in remand, on trial and in jail, which means significant increases in the costs of administering the courts and of incarceration. That leaves less money for social programs that divert potential auto thieves to more wholesome activities.
Most of our car thefts are performed by a small handful of level IV offenders. Is chasing them down, arresting them, booking them, processing them in court, and letting them go and repeating the cycle the next week cheaper than just keeping them in jail? Does it increase public safety?

On January 31, Nicholas Lilke, a Level IV offender, was arrested and charged with:
Failing to Comply with a Probation Order X 2, Mischief Under $5000.00, Forcible Confinement, Break and Enter to Commit an Indictable Offence, Obstruct, Resist a Police Officer, Trafficking in Firearms, Trafficking in Ammunition, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm and Possess Prohibited Firearm or Ammunition.
On February 4, less then a week later, the same dude stole an SUV and slammed into a Police cruiser, injuring the officers.

Ask a police officer if longer sentences would make a difference with scum like this.


Anonymous said...

thats gay how can you call a living human being scum . hes a good person regardless of what he did no one deserves that kind of social isolation, no matter what the person did

Anonymous said...

Update on Lilke at jamesturner.ca

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the info.

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