Security remains a concern and a high priority for Chemainus and Crofton residents.
There’s been considerable debate about safety in our communities, especially since former Chemainus RCMP detachment member Terry van Seters brought the topic forward to North Cowichan council again recently after uncovering a long forgotten agreement about North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP providing two constables for 24/7 patrols after the demise of the Chemainus detachment.
One of the things van Seters suggested is calling police no matter how insignificant the crime may seem. A crime is a crime and policing decisions are based heavily on the number of calls for service. If there’s no record of offenses, no matter whether the police attend or not, then there won’t be any action toward improving the situation down the road to offer the protection citizens deserve.
As we’re all aware, much of the criminal activity in the area is being fueled by drug activity. Until proper measures are taken to deal with the drug problem, all the policing and money in the world isn’t going to make any difference.
Other crimes that have nothing to do with drugs are still being committed. The biggest problem is all criminal factions know the police element here is minimal and it will take them a long time to get here if called.
So what to do about it? Many have security cameras, but that doesn’t seem to help much because even those caught and charged are often released without ever serving a day in jail or paying a fine.
Catching criminals in the act or deterring the behaviour from occurring seems like the only alternative.
Some have suggested hiring a security company and that’s something the community can certainly look into, but there is an added cost and many feel we’re paying too much for taxes already and receiving little in return.
There’s also the possibility of volunteer patrols with pairs taking shifts and reporting suspicious activity, something like a Neighbourhood Watch but on a mobile basis. Volunteers will just need to prepare for safety procedures.
Clearly there are no easy answers, but action on creative solutions is the only way we’re going to get anywhere at this point.