Editorial: Theft is a crime of opportunity

Thieves cannot thrive for long in a caring community

Every month the RCMP report on the incidents they respond to. Just recently there was a significant drug bust in Sooke. While this isn’t unusual in any town, big or small, it doesn’t happen too often in Sooke.

Sooke is not what it used to be. At one time everyone knew each other and the ner-do-goods were not encouraged to stay. What is troubling is the increase in methamphetamine use which, according to the RCMP, is leading to more property crime. More thieves at work. Properties are broken into and stores are being ripped off, all to fuel a bad drug habit. People are migrating here from the city and bringing their big city habits with them. So, what is the solution?

Well, for one thing, people should be locking up their vehicles. It’s not the Sooke it once was where one could leave their doors unlocked. Robbery is mostly a crime of opportunity and if you give them one, they will take it.

We have Citizens on Patrol but their numbers are limited. We have Park Watch but their numbers are limited as well. What we need is for people to pay attention to what is going on in their own neighbourhoods. That doesn’t mean reporting each and every bit of suspicious activity, what it means is looking out after our neighbourhood. It means paying attention. Check on neighbour’s home while they are away and if something looks amiss, then investigate further. But, never put your own safety at risk. That’s the way small towns used to be and it is the way it can still be. It’s about being a community.

Sooke is a good community. There are people from all over the world who would love to live here. We often dis our town core, but it is what it is and we who live here are probably more critical and apologetic. We have something special here, even if we can’t always see it. Let’s not lose sight of what we do have — a caring community.