RCMP look for help in curtailing drug trade

Suspicious drug activity: that’s what Slave Lake RCMP are interested in finding out about. What constitutes ‘suspicious,’ vs. non-suspicious activity is not set out in the RCMP’s Dec. 31 news release. Perhaps it was left vague on purpose, to allow people to apply their own definitions.

What police want, plainly enough, is information. If they have it, they can act. If they don’t, they can’t. That message is hammered home pretty much every time the staff sergeant makes a public presentation on policing issues.

‘Report it,’ he’ll tell (a municipal council or whoever). ‘We fail to solve 100 per cent of the crimes that aren’t reported.’ (Or words to that effect).

Solving the ones the police are aware of is difficult enough. But knowing where to look, or who to look at, is a start.

There is probably a fair amount of skepticism in the population about the difference any amount of law enforcement can make. Lock up one drug dealer, and another one or two emerge to take his or her place. That’s how it seems.

There might be an argument to be made for a radically different policy on addictive substances and the people that profit from them. Apparently it’s been tried elsewhere – treating the whole thing as a social, rather than criminal, problem.

But for now, the crooks that profit from the misery of addicts need to know that society disapproves. And if they get caught, they might get locked up. The mere selling of illicit drugs to addicts is often the least of the crimes these people are guilty of. As we’ve seen, various types of intimidation, blackmail, bodily harm up to and including murder is often involved. With the stakes being high, anything can happen.

One thing that could happen would be every individual deciding not to participate. ‘Drugs? No thanks, I think I’ll take my chances with cold, harsh, sober reality. Go peddle your %$#!~ somewhere else. And by the way, I’m calling the police.’

Wouldn’t that be nice.

To get back to that plea from the RCMP, citizens are encouraged “to report any criminal or suspicious drug activity. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at P3Tips.com, or by using the ‘P3 Tips’ app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.”

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