The Assiniboia RCMP asked the public to increase their awareness of crime prevention in response to a mini-crime wave in the district.
“This increase has been throughout the detachment area, including but not limited to the Rural Municipalities of Lake of the Rivers, Stonehenge and within the Town of Assiniboia,” the announcement issued on June 22 read.
There are several questions about living in a society with too much surveillance.
Also, vigilantism under the guise of ‘keeping the law’ has sometimes been imbalanced and violent on many occasions.
There are times when vigilantism can’t be avoided.
The police are tasked to deal with criminals, but if farmers in rural areas such as Rockglen or Lafleche feel threatened by farm invasions, they might sense the need to act long before the police arrive.
Thankfully, the majority of Canadians know how to keep their wits about them without pulling the trigger whenever encountering crimes in progress, but there’s been exceptions, such as the unfortunate shooting and killing of Colten Boushie in August 2016 near Biggar.
But most people in Saskatchewan know and understand the judicious restrictions of using force whenever assisting to restore and maintain law and order in their neighbourhoods and districts.
Vigilantes are required to present an amount of even-handed force in accordance with the crimes being committed – not just for legal requirements, but also in respect to human decency.
Criminal activities in Assiniboia and region can be averted with the help of intelligent and responsible citizens who view everyone equally until proven otherwise and possess a good understanding what the term ‘reasonable force’ actually means.
We are reliant on the police to safeguard our properties and ourselves and rightly so. Still, the local RCMP require the assistance of everyone to do their bit in preventing crimes.
Of course, there’s been times when the actions of police have been extreme and unjustified as well – and yes, there’s systemic racism in the Mounties and in other police institutions in the world, but the RCMP are attempting to right the wrongs of the past, even if this process might appear to be much too slow at times.
Moreover, the RCMP are law enforcement professionals and are more physically, mentally and logistically equipped to deal with crimes than most citizens in Canadian communities.
But we are also accountable for managing criminal activities in our neighbourhoods.
Far from being a guilt-trip about inducing crime, the RCMP wanted to remind Assiniboians to adapt reasonable and safe measures to prevent crimes from happening as stated in last week’s news release.
The RCMP advised Assiniboians to do the usual things when protecting their properties, including having their valuables secured, ensuring their buildings and vehicles are locked and to keep outdoor spaces well-lit.
Further, the RCMP wanted people in Assiniboia and region to install security or surveillance systems to assist them in their investigations should crimes occur.
The Assiniboia RCMP also recommended citizens to join the Rural Crime Watch program or sign onto the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network to receive text messages, phone calls or emails about crimes in the area.
Digital communications are effective, non-violent crime fighting tools, provided they’re used sensibly and without malicious intent.
The RCMP have said that if they’ve received a greater number of messages from responsible citizens, or if they were able to communicate information they know about criminals in the area, the police force could respond to crimes much quicker – effectively removing the need for vigilantism in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada.