The problem is out of control, but will this fix it?
Lest you think all is well in Canada, car theft is a serious problem there just like it is in the United States. One hotspot for these crimes is Ontario but leaders of the province have a plan to spend $51 million CAD over three years to turn back the rising tide.
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Both the Toronto metro area and Ottawa have become favorite hunting grounds for car thieves. And while police have arrested a number of people they saw are part of international theft rings recently, cars continue to be stolen. Global News says car thefts in the province are up 14 percent in the last year.
While $51 million is a lot of money, Solicitor General Michael Kerzner is reassuring the public that money will go towards taking apart the theft rings and prosecuting individual members. To that end, an organized crime and auto theft team headed up by Ontario Provincial Police will be created using part of that funding.
Police will receive additional tools to track down and identify vehicles they believe are stolen. A public awareness campaign will help citizens learn how to prevent car theft.
Catching car thieves is only part of the battle. Another part of the plan is to create an auto theft prosecution team, something Global News says will help with complicated cases as they go to court.
This all sounds great, but the big question is will it really impact car theft that much? We don’t think governments should sit idly by while the problem rages out of control, something we believe is partly responsible for the crime surge, but at the same time it behooves citizens of every Western nation to critically examine any government spending, especially when it’s cloaked in promises of keeping everyone safe.
Hopefully this push against car theft will take a trend that’s been on the rise for years and starts turning it in the other direction.
Images via Ontario Provincial Police