Lock up your stuff


It won’t be much of a surprise to the people of Chatham-Kent that break and enters and theft are a huge problem in this municipality, and they are on the rise.

The Crime Severity Index Report 2016 that was recently released by the Chatham-Kent Police Service shows that while violent crimes remain low compared to the provincial and national rates, non-violent crimes such as break and enter, theft and fraud are on the rise, and C-K is above the national average.

What might surprise people, however, is that statistics for one month show that of 57 break and enters, 23 were into detached garages and sheds, and 90 per cent of those 23 were unlocked.

In a perfect world, we could expect that all people would respect private property, but we don’t live in that perfect world. In Chatham-Kent, there is a serious drug problem, and about the only way addicts can support their habit is to steal. If you don’t lock up your bikes, sheds, garages and homes, and put valuables out of sight, you shouldn’t be surprised if someone attempts to steal them.

You can help be a big part of the solution if you simply lock up your valuables. As Police Chief Gary Conn said, it doesn’t always help because if a thief really wants your stuff, he will kick in doors or windows to get it. The point is, it may deter that thief enough that he will move on to an easier target.

It’s not right and it’s not fair, but that is how it is in Chatham. The police track these “career criminals” down and then the courts release them, only to have them re-offend and miss court dates continuously.

There is something seriously flawed with our judicial system that allows repeat offenders to walk away on bail from numerous crimes with a “promise to appear.” It would be great if the judges or justices of the peace could explain their reasoning. The public has become very tired of the phrase, “because this is the way we’ve always done it.”

How about acknowledging there is a problem and the powers that be in the Solicitor General’s office and the Attorney General’s office get together to solve it so the public doesn’t need to sit awake at night with a video camera and a flashlight to keep career criminals out of their backyards and businesses?





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