By Alain Saffel
I became a victim of an unreported crime until, well, I reported it. On my way to an appointment I went to open my car’s driver door only to discover that the lock had been punched out.
Nice. Since I had my camera with me I snapped some quick shots of the crime scene. I keep nothing of value in my car, and I’m not missing anything. It was evident the perpetrators do this for a living though.
I debated whether or not it was even worth reporting, but I decided I should, not for insurance, but just so the police know that there are scumbags at work in the area.
Reporting the crime online was not an option, as Edmonton Police Service isn’t set up for that. It’s highly unlikely I’ll file an insurance claim, as I only have to replace my lock. I do want EPS to know though.
It would be nice to be able to go online, supply photos and write out all the relevant details. It would be so easy! Pick the crime and you get a customized form prompting you for all the information.
Online crime reporting could be a useful tool for police in terms of comparing crimes and just being aware of what is going on in various Edmonton neighbourhoods.
It makes sense for relatively minor crimes and complaints that may go unreported otherwise. It’s not likely anyone will do time for them (unless Stephen Harper gets his shiny new prisons) but they’re good to know about.
If EPS is wondering about a system to use, they should contact Larimer County Colorado. I thought their system would work quite well. It wouldn’t be hard to set up and there are plenty of local web developers who could do the job. One tip: don’t hire the guys who developed the long gun registry.
I’ve been victimized criminally very few times in my life. In fact, I didn’t bring my car to the police station (great scooter riding weather) and it didn’t even occur to me to bring my camera with the pictures. I’m wondering if the officer at the desk thought I was on drugs. Uh, no, but I did bring the car down later.
And that isn’t to say I haven’t been victimized at all. I did have my car stolen once (not to mention being divorced). My car was involved in a joyride to Vancouver. They caught them, but I don’t know what happened. They should have been jailed for being losers because my car was not worth stealing. I guess when you’re at the bottom, everything looks good.
In future I will continue to keep nothing of value in my car (but will keep the car), but it’s just a pain to have to absorb the cost for a new lock.
My plans also will not include hiding near my garage with a Louisville Slugger in the middle of the night, as satisfying as that may be. I need the sleep. Maybe it’s time to stick those “valuables removed from vehicle” placards in my windows?
Oddly, I still feel safe in Edmonton, though I know I shouldn’t. After all, Edmonton is the murder capital of Canada, don’t ya know? “Deadmonton” the headlines scream. Well, they don’t scream that on here anyway.