And so it came to pass, that summer followed spring and crime and violence in the north end of Winnipeg flared up again. This is a surprise? Humpty is broken again.
The William Whyte community and surrounding communities have seen spikes in violence during the summer months for some years now. That is the reality of north end Winnipeg.
The next step of course is to fix Humpty. How do you do that? That’s simple; you assign all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put Humpty together again. And if they can’t put Humpty together again, then what do you do? That is simple as well: just get more horses and more men, right? Well, that seems to be the police response in Winnipeg.
Assigning large numbers of police officers to trouble areas seems to be the standard response in this city. In and of itself that is not a bad short term strategy, but only if it is paralleled by a long term strategy that addresses the issues that caused the problem. In the short term, reactive policing may be a necessity to stabilize communities. However, rushing in large numbers of resources to quell violent spikes in communities is not sustainable. In order to fix Humpty in the long term, more horses and more men are not the answer.
What is needed in the north end is a long term far sighted strategy to deal with the underlying issues. The police service tends to fixate on short term efforts that yield impressive short term outputs and quick political gains. Recently the police service did a crack down in the north end and trumpeted the number of arrests that were made and the quantity of contraband that was seized. Is this going to fix the problem in the north end? Will this put humpty together again?