Last week an extremely insensitive crime was committed in Carbonear. A funeral home — a place of mourning and respect — was treated with sheer disregard, with rocks thrown through two of its windows and the door kicked in.
The unfortunate incident took place at Slades Funeral Home, a family-owned business with a reputation for compassion and support during times of grief.
There was no one waking at the time but the public had no way of definitively knowing that.
The vandal’s or vandals’ blatant disregard for the dead is unsettling. If someone has the audacity to vandalize a funeral home, how far will they go?
Some residents have suggested that it would have been a less heinous crime if it had been a convenience store or retail outlet. That is ridiculous.
A crime is a crime and should be punishable as such.
The wanton disregard for someone else’s property happens in every community. It may not always be visible, but it is happening.
RCMP officers have admitted that issues like vandalism come in spurts and often is carried out by repeat offenders. Obviously some people don’t learn a lesson after their first arrest. And that’s not a phenomenon limited to vandalism.
Too many times the media has reported on people racking up thousands of dollars in fines for motor vehicle infractions and people driving without a licence or insurance, yet these delinquents are still driving and still breaking the law.
Why aren’t the vehicles impounded and used as payment towards their fees? How come most of these drivers walk away with more fines?
Sure our prisons are overflowing, our court dockets are overloaded and justice staff have been cut, but if the criminals keep getting let off with a slap on the wrist they will continue to be criminals and continue to clog up the system.
Victims of crimes deserve justice, including the Slade family.
It is time for the justice system to begin making an example out of criminals by holding them accountable for the crimes they have committed and, maybe, if they are caught early enough, they can change their ways before becoming a hardened criminal.
A fine won’t end crime, but real justice is a good start.