As the cost of enforcing minor offenses has grown society has failed to come up with real solutions that encourage voluntary compliance. An example of how some areas are dealing with this issue surfaced a few months ago in an article that delved into how Dallas criminals have just been given a license to steal. Following his November 2018 election win, Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot, a Democrat, announced that he will no longer prosecute certain low-level crimes. This included thefts of personal items worth less than $750 as long as it isn't for economic gain, according to CBS DFW.
|Creuzot Plans Not To Prosecute Low-level Crimes|
Creuzot said he’ll dismiss many criminal trespass cases as well, charges he says are most often brought against the mentally ill and homeless.Not enforcing laws to deter minor acts of stealing and such have huge consequences. Needless to say, Dallas shop owners are not happy and very concerned as to the implication of such policies. Expressing a similar sentiment, the President of the National Black Police Association, Sgt. Sheldon Smith said he worries it will lead to more crime. “It opens the door for some people to think they can commit crimes,” Sgt. Smith said. Others in law enforcement voice similar concerns. Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown said her office will continue to enforce the laws as mandated by state legislation. "I absolutely think it's sending the wrong message," said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata. When viewing this trend, two things that rapidly become apparent. The shop owner cannot just let $600 worth of merchandise walk out of his store and it is not the job of police to step into the role of judge and jury.
He also said his office will no longer prosecute theft cases involving personal items worth less than $750 unless evidence shows it was for economic gain. -CBS DFW
|Middle-class Shoplifting is On The Rise|
Canadian courts have more or less adopted a "triage system" which means they manage cases by the seriousness of the alleged offense. The Retail Council of Canada which represents over 45,000 merchants has expressed grave concerns over this development. Last year, the retail council estimated that shoplifting cost Canadian retailers up to $5 billion a year in losses. "It's really concerning for retailers, retailers of all sizes," said the council's Atlantic director, Jim Cormier. In order to recoup their losses from shoplifting, some retailers are skipping criminal court completely and instead opting to take offenders to civil court. Still, anyone in business will tell you this is not their job or what they signed up for. Asking businesses and individuals to police society is indeed a lousy alternative to law enforcement doing its job.
|Vandalism Often Considered A Low-Priority Crime|
The idea that today many immigrants do not aspire to assimilate into our culture and protect our best values is key to understanding why many Americans wish to see borders closed. The rejection of traditional values hits communities hard and damages our way of life. All of us want to be able to go for a walk and feel safe as we go about our day. When individuals are selfish, rude, arrogant, boastful, proud, disrespectful, ungrateful, undisciplined, slothful and completely obsessed with themselves life becomes very difficult for those around them. People that feel entitled to everything, but they don’t want to work for it often don’t see a problem with treating others like dirt. Unfortunately, this tends to generate a great deal of discontent that has real consequences for society.
Many conservatives blame these problems on institutions going to easy on crime while many progressives claim we must show more compassion, however, the fact is most people simply do not wish to deal with the problems wrongdoers bring with them. For years I have advocated police be able to issue a citation or ticket for these low-level crimes. after someone receiving several of these, it would at least serve as notice to the fact they were a "multiple offender of society's rules" so that we can focus on ways to bring more pressure upon them. It has long been my contention that you cannot legislate decency. Too many laws poorly enforced does little to curb the ills of our culture which translates into the idea that we must try harder.
In our modern world where people move more often than in the past, the restraints that caused people to behave have been lifted and ties to communities are often weak. This topic flows back into how to get people to comply and has resulted in people embracing more surveillance and cameras in order to discourage crime. Still, a lack of enforcement that results in a catch and release scheme usually deters nothing. The idea of granting people a "social score" like the program being put in play in China and other parts of the world stinks of Orwellian totalitarianism. Taking away the freedom of people is not the answer. This means a good place to start would be redoubling our efforts to teach the values we hold dear and allow society to function. We must do better at elevating the importance of these qualities and make a greater effort to teach young people that our values are key to a healthy society.