According to an article from Friday's Left Arm for Special Interests, the crime rate is 14% higher this year in London Ontario. Chief Murray Faulkner explains this away into oblivion by citing the increase in police officers resulting in more charges. Faulkner also credits special projects like Project Speak Easy - a program designed to deal with rowdy university and college students, which resulted in triple the number of charges over last year. While it is true that many students in London vandalize local property and cause a general disturbance, especially when under the influence of alcohol, it is apparent to most Londoners that Project Speak Easy will have little impact on the types of crime that are significantly on the rise, largely committed by non-students, especially downtown and in the east end.
Robberies are up 38 per cent this year, auto thefts 43 per cent and break-ins 16 per cent.The rising crime rate was also an issue at a recent Ward 4 candidates' meeting sponsored by The Old East Village Community Association. The lack of perspective as evidenced by the responses of certain candidates should be noted. Take for example, Stephen Orser, a candidate who wants a full-time council:
Stephen Orser said the solution is to tackle one issue at a time, starting with street prostitution. He said the province could provide more tools, such as seizing and selling the vehicles of clients.I work in the east end of the city, and based on reports and my own experiences, prostitution is hardly the "issue" to begin with. The criminalization of drugs and prostitution is part of the problem in the first place, as police presence is diverted toward these largely victimless crimes. The reason the drug pushers and the prostitutes and their customers roam the streets is because the government has decreed it illegal to voluntary provide sex and drugs to voluntary buyers. Banning the exchange will do little to lessen the desire, and yet, as the number of hold-ups and car thefts increase in the Old East, Orser is recommending giving the police further powers to seize property they have no right to take.
Ward Four Candidates:
J. Daniel O'Neail