According to Shockwell Doris and JusticeMin Rob Nicholson yesterday, we're going to need more prisons to deal with the "alarming" increase in "unreported crime" ... that was last reported six years ago.
Well, you can see their point, can't you? If more people aren't reporting crimes, then unreported crimes must be going up and we're going to need somewhere to put all the unreported criminals!
And why aren't people reporting those crimes? Via The Jurist :
"(A Statistics Canada) analyst said the No. 1 reason given by individuals for not calling the police about a crime is that they believe it was not serious enough. Only two per cent said they feared retribution, and one per cent said they felt the police may be biased.
Statistics Canada reported in their last General Social Survey (GSS) that an estimated 34% of Canadians who are victims of crime still aren't reporting the crime to police, including: - an estimated 88% of sexual assaults; - an estimated 69% of household thefts, and - and (sic) estimated 67% of personal property thefts."
Kady advises Doris is basing his claims about unreported crime on the 2004 International Crime Victimization Survey.
Three years ago I had a look at that survey. Here are some of the more buckety questions in it :
Under Spousal violence : "Puts you down or calls you names to make you feel bad"
Under Stalking : "Sent you unwanted email messages"
Under Property Damage : "During the last 12 months did anyone deliberately damage or destroy any property belonging to you or anyone in your houshold, including a window or a fence?"
Put you down? Unwanted emails? Broken fences? Holy crap! Build more prisons!
Meanwhile here's the reported 2004 Statscan crime stats from the year Doris is still bleating about. Yup, going down since 1991. And if I may be so rude as to bring up something a bit more current, like for instance this year's : crime still going down. Deal with it, Doris.
I wonder how many children snatching a few bills out of their parents' wallets are included in that 69% of household thefts? Lets send those little criminals to the slammer and teach them a lesson.
On a more serious note, is it their fundamentalist Christian roots that make these reformatories so unbelievably harsh when it comes to youth? Do they figure the state has to step in when heretic parents fail to punish their kids with a strap?
I call bullshit on the Doris Thesis. I'm sure there was far more unreported crime a generation ago, when police and judges didn't take spousal abuse seriously, serious harassment (sexual and otherwise) was seen as "part of the job description" and children had practically no rights.
One group I'm sure is more likely to report crimes nowadays than a generation or two ago is LGBTQ people. I can remember when a gay colleague of mine was murdered by a burglar intruding on his boyfriend's guesthouse (!) in the Gay Village and more than one comrade at our supposedly enlightened place of work insinuated that his "lifestyle" was a factor. Many gay people did not report serious violent or property crimes because they did not want to be "outed" or humiliated by the police.
Minor crime: major crime .... if you find you do not have enough of one, then upgrade the other:
from the Star.
"OTTAWA—The Conservative government has quietly boosted police powers to target gambling, drug trafficking and prostitution activities by organized criminal gangs.
New regulations approved in mid-July but published today in the Canada Gazette designate as “serious offences” a series of crimes that do not necessarily garner five years or more in jail."
Organzed crime being, of course: "gangs those cases involving three or more people acting together in a criminal venture."
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