Vandalism is a lack of self respect not only for the individual committing the crime but also for the people that are affected through property damage and are victimized by it having to bear the cost and time to repair, if possible.
In a community that has evolved into an even more beautiful area since houses have been bought up by locals and new people moving here to live turning them into homes reflecting the owners pride through hard work, renovations and landscaping. As a community the town reflects this pride not only internally but also as a place for visitors to enjoy, like the landscaping around town hall, the beautiful flowers and the trees throughout the community and the inviting clean streets and store fronts of local businesses to return to?
However a group of local teenagers feel they can do whatever they want with impunity and no consequences. When confronted, they swear and say ?you can?t do anything, our parents don?t give a . . . they let us do whatever we want . . . the cops won?t do anything.? And that?s the problem. In my opinion in many situations the R.C.M.P. will not even turn out to investigate leaving the victims feeling, frustrated, intimidated and hopeless. In situations where the perpetrators have been apprehended by a bystander, the rights of the youths become the priority and the victim gets charged incurring legal costs, loss of time and more frustration and if for some reason the miscreants are found guilty they are usually let off with a warning by the judge or given community time, in many situations repeat offenders. As they leave the courtroom they can be seen laughing and giving high fives . . .
What message are we sending? Who is looking after the victims, their rights, their property. This is a very serious concern that needs to be addressed before it escalates. Not only do these few cast a bad light on all teenagers but also on the community of Tumbler Ridge.
If you have been affected by vandalism or are concerned please sign the petition being circulated which will be forward to town council and the R.C.M.P.
Thank you, Rolf Raque