The Stanley murder trial in Saskatchewan has highlighted racism in Saskatchewan. There is another secondary issue that has been exposed, and I wanted to start a different thread on the matter so as not to distract from the racism issue in the other thread.
Property crime in rural Saskatchewan is a very real concern to people in Saskatchewan. It is complicated by the fact that unlike living in a city, picking up the phone, calling 911, and waiting for the police to show up simply isn't a reliable option, as they can sometimes take hours. And before you point out that crime rates are dropping, remember that the crime statistics only deal with crimes reported to police. If people don't feel as if reporting will do any good, they simply won't report crimes, and those crimes won't be reported in the stats. Take a look at the following:
Ryan, whose last name CBC agreed to withhold because of concerns he says he has for his safety, farms in southwestern Saskatchewan and is a member of the group. He says he knows neighbours and friends who've experienced theft.
"Frustrated and helpless would be the two things I would say [farmers feel]," he said in an interview with CBC News at his family farm Wednesday. "There's all walks of life that are committing these crimes.
"Snowmobiles, ATVs — these are big-ticket items that are easy to grab and easy to get rid of. Anything that's not bolted down, it can be taken."
Where this becomes a problem is when people feel frustrated and unable to protect themselves, what to do? That's when you have groups like "Farmers with Firearms" who come in and capitalize on this frustration to advance the idea of entrenching property rights into law. And law enforcement in such a large geographic area with such a sparse population is very challenging.
So the question here is: what practical steps can be taken to address rural crime so that people don't feel that their only option is to take matters into their own hands?