A recent article in SPN, “RCMP stats for Sooke presented to Council officials references that “Service calls were down quite significantly from January.”
While that RCMP report to staff is but a small view sample size, it prompts this letter to the editor and our community from observations and discussions with fellow community members.
We live in a small and intimate community. We see and hear what’s going on. We know our local and RCMP officials and they’re pleasant, dutiful and seemingly committed.
Yet many of our neighbours, friends and community members increasingly question the vigour, and even interest in prosecuting more complex criminality. Often the deflection used is…. ”it’s a civil matter,” thus burdening our Court.
I’ve followed a number of news items that prompt my skepticism of our law enforcement. The tragic murder Lindsay Buziak, while a complex case for Saanich authorities, appears to be an example of incompetence and possibly a cover-up.
In the same jurisdiction, we know of an elderly friend of a friend who was allegedly defrauded by one local Oak Bay resident and his colleague, a resident of our own Sooke community.
The passivity of the Oak Bay Police in conducting a timely investigation and prosecution raises the skepticism. The investigating officer had ‘medical leave’ to attend to in the course of the investigation. In the meantime, the neglect of that case invited the victimization of others.
In our own Sooke community, I’m told by individuals intimately aware of the facts, that a prominent Sooke business has been defrauded by an employee of approximately $50,000. A report filed with our local RCMP, with substantial detail and corroborating evidence, was provided to the local RCMP on March 4, 2019.
To this day, the RCMP has not interviewed the alleged fraudster and a possible accomplice.
Another local Sooke business operator was encouraged to invest in the same business operation to the tune of $1,000,000. The investor was given shares in a company similarly named, but not the one represented by the individual making the security solicitation.
While the investor filed a lawsuit, the investor was told “it’s a civil matter” by law enforcement.
I think our community has an increasingly cynical view of our law enforcement, and in British Columbia in particular.
The procedure for these reports of suspected criminal activity is to be forwarded to the ‘Crown Counsel’ to determine if suitable for ‘Charge Approvals’ and proper prosecution if so.
I inquired of a local attorney, a former Federal Prosecutor of 11 years service, as to the apparent benign neglect of the examples noted. He said, “We don’t fund law enforcement as we should,” and “The local jurisdictions focus on low hanging fruit,” and ”White collar crime often pays in B.C.”
In reading the aforementioned ‘RCMP Report’ to our district officials with the encouraging, “Service calls were down quite significantly from January,” it’s sad that I’m inclined to ask if all public reports of suspected criminal activity are being properly submitted to the Crown Counsel for proper processing. Or, is law enforcement more focused on a public relations and spin ?
I’d encourage law enforcement to step up their efforts and if needing funding to protect the citizenry properly that they be active… and that we support their efforts in doing so.
[name withheld on request]