Myles Russell on Crime

Happy City: The city has formed a committee and is currently asking the public for its ideas to help prevent crime and violence. What are some key measures would you like to see implemented, especially in Ward 4, and who do you see as the key people, community groups, and organizations to work with on this issue?

Myles Russell:

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Royal Canadian Mounted Police are not the  jurisdiction of the City St. John’s. Mental health support is not under the jurisdiction of the  City of St. Johns. Criminal and civil law and justice are not under the jurisdiction of the City  of St. John’s. National and provincial economic drivers are not under the jurisdiction of the  City of St. John’s. Income inequality justice is not under the jurisdiction of the City of St.  Johns. 

This is not to say that there is nothing that can be done, but crime and health fall generally outside of the jurisdiction of municipal politics. 

There are only a couple factors to which St. John’s could make meaningful real-world impacts to fight crime. Vastly expand affordable housing developments. Allow supportive  housing and safe injection sites to be permitted use in more zones. Ensure people do not  get stuck in vehicle poverty by providing alternative transportation methods that are safe  and reliable. Providing safe no strings attached locations for those who are suffering  homelessness a safe place to stay. 

Everything else falls under the purview of our provincial and federal government and they are failing our citizens far more than the city. I know a lot of citizens are concerned with  rising crime in certain parts of the city. This is well documented that as citizens get  squeezed by corporate greed and international markets fluctuating in an economic  downturn, causing higher income inequality, crime increases. This is a systemic issue  across the industrialized world as we come off the Covid-19 pandemic and the K-curve  correction that is seeing corporations make record profits while people are feeling the  squeeze without proper upward income adjustments.

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