DISAGREE OR NOT with Stockwell Day's politics

Focus on the message rather than the source

Dear editor,

I am taking Sociology 110 at North Island College.

Dear editor,

I am taking Sociology 110 at North Island College.

Yesterday in class we were watching a video of Stockwell Day citing unreported crime as a reason for building new prisons. Although Day has been under great scrutiny by the public and the media alike, I believe there may be validity to his argument.

Statistics Canada outlines how they collect data on crimes, which would include unreported crime such as violent crimes and sexual assault.

According to Statistics Canada: “Close to half (46 per cent) of violent incidents involving victims 55 years or older were brought to the attention of the police, compared to 20 per cent of violent incidents involving victims aged 15 to 24 years.”

If these statistics are applicable, this would mean that 80 per cent of violent incidents against persons 15 to 24 years of age are going unreported.

Similarly, Statistics Canada wrote: “The majority of sexual assaults were not reported to the police (88 per cent),” which I think should concern Canadians that many victims may be suffering alone.

Furthermore, Statistics Canada outlines reasons persons have given for not reporting crimes, and includes:

• Didn’t want to get police involved;

• No confidence in criminal justice system;

• Fear of revenge by the offender.

In reference to Stockwell Day citing unreported crime as a reason for building new prisons, this reference cannot be observed objectionably without noting that Day intends to couple the matter with lengthier prison sentences for violent offenders.

Therefore, I would like to revisit the reasons people refrain from reporting crimes and look at: No confidence in criminal justice system, and fear of revenge by the offender.

It is probable that if persons have no confidence in the criminal justice system, that victims might be concerned with the short length of time in which a violent offender may spend incarcerated.

In addition, those with fear of revenge of the offender (may be in my perspective) unwilling to report for fear that their assailant may escape an inadequate facility, and/or be out of incarceration in a few years and seek revenge.

I do not believe it is profitable to reject a politician because of the political party they belong to, or because the media is opposed to them, or because they once rode around in little shorts on a Sea-Doo before a press conference.

If a politician from any political party has an inclination how they may better protect vulnerable persons in Canada, I believe it is worth hearing what they have to say.

J.R. Dawson,

Courtenay

 

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