Peel needs support to combat influx of crime amid rapid growth

BY SURJIT SINGH FLORA

Peel Region is struggling with a massive influx of growth, and crimefighting resources and policies are far behind the curve. There are many factors that are influencing illegal behaviour; I would not advise being stereotypical of any group; yes, as people involved in particular professions also change their behaviour. Brampton residents want harsher punishments for crimes, stronger sentencing, more police involvement, and more police overall.

However, policymakers and other authorities aren’t giving Brampton the support it needs to combat crime. It is frightening to witness racial tension, particularly if you are a minority. I have been almost attacked for my race, and others in the city have been in similar situations. It is terrible to not be able to call for help. This is dangerous, particularly for women. It feels like some kind of cultural war is being waged against us.

Brampton has had a significant increase in its population over the last several years, which has led to a proportionate rise in the crime rate. However, this has to be considered in perspective, as an annual ranking in 2019 of all Canadian cities by Maclean’s magazine, of the crime severity index, ranks Brampton as number 161 out of 237 cities. While living in Brampton, I have never seen this beautiful city so degraded as of late. In the last three weeks, Brampton has seen two young Punjabi men shot to death.

There are reports of young girls and boys involved in criminal activities like thefts and bank robberies. These crimes have become quite common. Businesses, particularly jewelry shops, are also robbed, and have been mentioned in the pages of this publication. Surprisingly, the community will not always report any lack of trust to the police.

It’s not unusual for trucks to be taken during the day. Vehicles and belongings can be stolen from outside marriage chapels. It is a serious problem when the police and community do not cooperate. Peel Regional Police’s 2020 annual report shows that 13,000 people were charged by police last year. Six hundred fifty of those arrested were children aged 12-17. Over 37,000 people were charged with crimes under the Criminal Code.

However, the majority of these individuals were not prosecuted later, and the crime was not committed even if the charges were not filed. Twenty-three incidents related to property, or 64 incidents of theft from the property, occurred each day in Mississauga Brampton. 1,633 Drug Violations, 8,574 Crimes Against Person Violations (23 per day). $4.5 million of Drugs Seized, stabbing incidents involved 174 people, while sexual assault incidents were documented in police records.

There have been 1,255 burglaries in homes and businesses this year. Not all cases are reported. A large number of people don’t report to the police, especially because police officers interrogate the victim just as much as the owner. Both sides can play equal roles in maintaining trust between the police and the public.

The police must coordinate with the community at all costs, but it is up to community leaders to take extra steps to inform the police about community concerns. There has been an increase in South Asians, particularly Punjabis, living in the region over the years, leading to a decrease in friendly relations between police and community.

The common perception, based on my perception, in the Punjabi community is that police don’t pay enough attention to crimes committed by the group against the group. This year, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Peel Regional Police signed an agreement to eradicate racial discrimination. While the agreement does not apply to the South Asian community, Peel Region contains the most communities. To solve the problems in everyday life, we need to change at the systemic level. Every community must work with the system.

The Punjabi community is not united in its efforts to bring about structural change. Many issues arise from the lack of community voice, such as the growing gap between police and the public.

Our leaders need to get off their rear ends and talk directly to the people. Go to the parks, community centres, Gurdwaras and other sites speak to them – and if needed, discipline those who willfully condone the violence and theft we see in the community.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
[email protected]

Leave a Comment