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Dealing with a Police Department which downright refuses to respond

WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Tonight is the first time we've had this problem in a couple years, but it was a very common problem for us before and I would like some advice on how to deal with it. In past years we've had kids vandalize our property, damage our car, as well as walk into our garage and try to steal stuff. The vandalism was mostly petty stuff - house/cars getting egged, broken beer bottles on our porch, and a reindeer christmas decoration was stolen had its legs snapped in half and then was thrown over our back fence (there is a path going down the side of our house.) Kids are regularly drinking and smoking pot in the path, which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't do other stuff after that. We have contacted the police every time something has happened with respect to vandalism to our property, the first time at the non-emergency number, at which point they told us in future to call 911 instead so they would deal with it right away. Calling 911 typically gets us a promise that they will send someone out, which they don't. For instances of minor vandalism we don't really care all that much, but it would be nice for them to at least acknowledge the problem and try to do something about it.

The problem is with bigger stuff. The last stand a few years ago was when my dad was helping my aunt (who lives accross the street) with some work with her bathroom, the garage door was left open because he was running back and forth to get tools, use the bathroom, etc. On one trip back over he saw a 14 year old boy in our garage going through our beer fridge and emptying it into his backpack. He started chasing him, ran out of breath, neighbour saw and drove after the kid, waited until he was tired and then tackled him. They got the kid's student card, and called the police. A day or two later a police officer showed up said we could press charges if we wanted but it was only trespassing, I pointed out that because he was inside a building on our property it was technically break and enter. The cop basically talked my parents out of pressing charges by saying it'd take a really long time and he wouldn't really get punished for it at all. He then went to the kids school on the Monday, got his home phone number, and called his mom to tell her what happened. (At this point I should probably mention that about 2 days before this incident we noticed that someone had dented our car trying to break the hood ornament off. After the cop left the first time I looked the kid up on facebook and the day before we found the dents there were wall posts back and forth asking about how much his friend would pay for a Jaguar hood ornament. When I brought this up the police told me that it wasn't evidence at all and to stop looking for stuff. My parents said they'd like to press the trespassing charges because at this point it wasn't just a few bottles of beer but about $800 in repairs they were out, this cop then said "Why would you press trespassing? They were inside your house its a clear break and enter." They also said that we couldn't change our minds about pressing charges, which is fair enough but infuriating. ) We then got a dog, made a habbit of making sure everything is locked and kept the flood lights out front on all night everynight since then and other than one incident of a broken beer bottle on our porch we've had no problems, until tonight.

My brother went to walk his girlfriend out to her car, and saw a kid in our car digging through our glove box, and two other kids standing guard. He startled them and they turned and ran. He called the police, who basically said they weren't interested. My dad and brother went out trying to find them (I was asleep at this point, but was woken up by my mom to help her look out at the front of the house cause she was nervous about them coming back.) My brother and dad drove by the local school and saw the three kids sitting in the parking lot, so pulled into a nearby street, turned off their lights and called the cops again, who claimed they were coming and insisted they go home. They sat there for over an hour and not a single cruiser came. The kids started to walk away so they followed and videotaped them and harassed them verbally a bit (probably a dumb move but my brother isn't really the brightest.) The kids played dumb when my brother asked them questions like "so where'd the other guy go" because one ran off somewhere else and stuff.

Basically, how do I get police to take this stuff seriously? I live in a town which has basically no serious crimes, and on a saturday night all the police are standing out front of bars downtown watching drunk kids line up to get in. We feel as though we've been violated, and then completely ignored by the police. I'm not saying I condone vigilante justice, or that I want to take matters into my own hands beyond getting police involved, its just a matter of getting them to actually do something.

tl;dr: Kids vandalize house and car. Police ignore. Kid tries to steal from garage and we actually catch him, police ignore for 2 days and then show up to talk us out of pressing charges and downplay it. My brother catches someone inside our car, police say they aren't interested. How do I get them to actually do something?

EDIT: My first thought was to say something like "Look, these guys have broken into my car and were stealing from us, they have put my family in danger and as the police it's your job to protect us, or else I'll just have to do it myself" and see if they'd get over here to deal with them then, but I'm not sure if even just suggesting that you're going to get vigilante would be illegal.

Wezoin on
«1

Posts

  • powersspowerss Registered User
    edited July 2010
    I'm going to watch this thread closely, as this is a growing problem with downright fucking lackadaisical police departments that don't do shit.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I should mention I'm in Canada, incase there is any could-be-illegal could-be-legal depending on where you are type stuff.

  • hardxcore_conservativehardxcore_conservative Registered User
    edited July 2010
    My advice would be to contact municipal officials outside of the police department. If your town works anything like Toronto, you probably have a councillor for your ward; if not, you might simply want to contact your mayor.

    Begin with an e-mail or physical letter that clearly outlines your problems (placing an emphasis on dates, times, names of perpetrators, and names and badge numbers of police officers), then follow up with phone calls.

    I imagine your local police department will become very responsive once elected officials become involved. If not, I would consider retaining a lawyer.


    EDIT: You seem to intimate that you are considering taking the law into your own hands; this is a very poor idea. In addition to the possibility of prosecution and the risk of physical harm, you may open yourself up to litigation on the part of the families involved.

  • BerkshireBerkshire Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    There are a few ways you can go about this. I can't give you advice about harassing the police into doing something, but what I can advise are ways to approach it on the ground level to make the kids think twice about screwing with you.

    First of all, I'm sorry you have to deal with all of this stuff. It sounds like these kids are little jerks with nothing better to do with their lives. From the sound of it, I'd say the cops were the same way once.

    Posting a No Trespassing sign is a good way to start, if you haven't already. A Beware of Dog sign is an additional sign that you might consider. You said you got a dog...I'm not sure what breed you got, but a sign like that will make the kids think it's the kind not to mess around with.

    Fake-looking security cameras are easy enough to make and mount on your house (basically any black camera-looking thing with a blinking LED in it) and could go a long way, especially if you post a sign about video surveillance (I know the sign suggestion keeps coming up, and you're not looking to make your front yard look like a car dealership).

    A final option is to mount a video camera in a window at night, near where you think something will be screwed with, set it to record, and let it roll. If something goes on, you'll have video evidence, and the cops will be harder-pressed to downplay it.

    As for the internet, facebook is a fine resource for things like this, and you were right to check it. Last I heard, facebook posts were considered admissable in America, but that may have changed since then and you're in Canada, so YMMV. Regardless, make sure you take screenshots of any of those posts and save them somewhere in the event that the kids get wise and take them down.

    Finally, if you know some of their names, you might see about pursuing orders of protect/restraining orders against them. They've clearly shown complete disregard for the sanctity of your home and vehicles, and that may be enough to convince a judge.

    Finally, I would contact a lawyer (preferably, actually, a law school professor, who has less to gain personally) and see what they have to say. And, if you're feeling particularly feisty, contact the District Attorney (or Canadian equivalent) with a report of everything you've posted (complete with names, dates, responding officers, etc.) and see if they think they might know why so little has been done to help you. I'm not sure how the system works up north, but down here, DAs are elected and have to keep that in mind when dealing with such issues, because they could lose some votes over their (mis)handling of things.

    Good luck with this, and please let us know how it turns out. If you have any other questions, please ask and I'm sure someone here (if not myself) can come up with something to help you.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Fake-looking security cameras are easy enough to make and mount on your house (basically any black camera-looking thing with a blinking LED in it) and could go a long way, especially if you post a sign about video surveillance (I know the sign suggestion keeps coming up, and you're not looking to make your front yard look like a car dealership).

    Be careful with this. Depending on your location this can be illegal.


    The reasoning behind is you are implying that your house is then fully monitored so then if a passer by feels threatened they may purposely stand near your house in the hopes to get the people who are threatening on tape. It's silly but it can be illegal depending on your area so check this first.

  • hardxcore_conservativehardxcore_conservative Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Berkshire wrote: »
    And, if you're feeling particularly feisty, contact the District Attorney (or Canadian equivalent) with a report of everything you've posted (complete with names, dates, responding officers, etc.) and see if they think they might know why so little has been done to help you. I'm not sure how the system works up north, but down here, DAs are elected and have to keep that in mind when dealing with such issues, because they could lose some votes over their (mis)handling of things.

    Crown Attorneys are appointed. We don't elect police officials, either.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Berkshire wrote: »

    Fake-looking security cameras are easy enough to make and mount on your house (basically any black camera-looking thing with a blinking LED in it) and could go a long way, especially if you post a sign about video surveillance (I know the sign suggestion keeps coming up, and you're not looking to make your front yard look like a car dealership).

    No, this is never good advice. Ever. It's based on the poorly thought out idea that CCTV acts as a deterrent. It's not, and it's job is to record evidence and nothing more. It can be a force multiplier for security staff but the ability of security staff to respond is the deterrent, not the cameras. Even ignoring the potential legal liability it raises and the poorly thought out logic behind that, it's just a waste of money and materials for zero gain. Also the vast majority of CCTV cameras with LEDs in the visible spectrum will have them behind the camera, not in front. And that's only so you can verify power and in the case of IP cameras network connectivity.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Update: a cop showed up about 10 minutes ago, took a police report, said theres nothing he can do, and left. The first call was just after midnight, its now 4:30am.

    We do have the ward system in London, and I'm thinking maybe if I contact the ward official, possibly with the chief of police cc'd I could try to convince them to have a cop constantly patrolling the area (most other areas of the city have police regularly driving around, my part is considered to be the WASPiest neighbourhood where supposedly nothing ever happens, so we don't have any cops ever.)

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    1) next time you catch someone in your house (or car), detain them and call the police. don't use force, just stop them from leaving and call the cops to say you've caught a burgler in your house. when they come, hand over custody and say you want to press charges. be insistant.

    2) If you don't catch them or they happen to not be in or on your property.... realize that there isn't anything the police can do. that's just how the system works. the only thing you can do is attempt to talk to their parents or petition your town council (or other local government body) to implement a curfue for kids under 18.

    3) do some security things for yourself, lock that jaguar in a garage, lock all doors, install motion sensor flood lights looking into the path behind your house. get a dog if you like them.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited July 2010
    You can start by not leaving your shit unlocked or open for any reason, because you should know better. Should you be able to? Yes, but you know you can't. :/

    Also if these kids are ever close enough for you to touch, look into the legalities of using things like tasers and pepperspray on your property. I don't know what the laws say about this stuff in Canada, but it might be worth a look.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    ceres wrote: »
    You can start by not leaving your shit unlocked or open for any reason, because you should know better. Should you be able to? Yes, but you know you can't. :/

    Well, I don't think this is a terribly reasonable position to take. It's not practical to have everything 100% secured all of the time; even in places like JoBurg, where you need to be very careful in some areas, you can usually walk a few feet from your garage and back again without finding children stealing your beer. :P

    It sounds like a problem with a local gang, not a problem of lax security.
    Also if these kids are ever close enough for you to touch, look into the legalities of using things like tasers and pepperspray on your property. I don't know what the laws say about this stuff in Canada, but it might be worth a look.

    Completely, totally, utterly illegal. Even here in Alberta you'd be in tremendous trouble for unloading mace on a kid or using a tazer on them (which would be insane anyway. 'HEY KID, YOU RUMMAGED THROUGH MY THINGS! PROPER PUNISHMENT IS OBVIOUSLY POTENTIALLY LETHAL ELECTRIC VOLTAGE!'). You'd be facing federal, and likely civil, charges - and the judge probably isn't going to care that you had some trouble getting the police to cooperate.


    The best suggestions have already been mentioned. Contact your local ward and / or town council and / or mayor and tell them about the poor responses from the police, and see if things improve. If not, there might not be much you can do (whatever you do, don't decide that violence is the solution. It will likely create way more problems for you than it might solve).

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    ..Actually, I should ask: are the kids natives?

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • CasualCasual Ho Ho Ho Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    1) next time you catch someone in your house (or car), detain them and call the police. don't use force, just stop them from leaving and call the cops to say you've caught a burgler in your house. when they come, hand over custody and say you want to press charges. be insistant.

    How exactly do you do that without using force? It's a dumb idea to try. Best case scenario you get in trouble for assault, worst case scenario you get stabbed.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    1) next time you catch someone in your house (or car), detain them and call the police. don't use force, just stop them from leaving and call the cops to say you've caught a burgler in your house. when they come, hand over custody and say you want to press charges. be insistant.

    How exactly do you do that without using force? It's a dumb idea to try. Best case scenario you get in trouble for assault, worst case scenario you get stabbed.

    Well, I wouldn't recommend the approach either, but if we're talking about some minors running around snitching booze it would be pretty easy to detain one without excessive force. But, yeah - you never know if one might pull a switchblade or something, so best to avoid this sort of direct confrontation. Your crappy stuff & beer isn't worth it.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Depending on where you live, can you contact the RCMP vs the local police?? (unless you live rural enough that the local police ARE the RCMP)

    Try contacting public city officials (council, mayor, etc) and maybe even the media if that gets no where.

    Unfortuantly, the time/paperwork/trial for a simple trespass or B&E just isn't worth the system's time. Be that a problem with funding/staffing/caring, that's a whole other discussion. Keep letting people know that it's unacceptable with the current situation and bring in other people rather than complaining to the sam police over and over.

  • Bryse EayoBryse Eayo Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Take it to the media.

    If all else fails I bet that's what would get the cops' attention. I'm sure the local papers would love this and if it gets worse/others are affected, I could see bigger papers being interested as well.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    1) next time you catch someone in your house (or car), detain them and call the police. don't use force, just stop them from leaving and call the cops to say you've caught a burgler in your house. when they come, hand over custody and say you want to press charges. be insistant.

    How exactly do you do that without using force? It's a dumb idea to try. Best case scenario you get in trouble for assault, worst case scenario you get stabbed.

    intimidation, locking the doors, yelling, blocking his way out. if he attacks you, you are of course allowed to defend yourself. just detain him until the police come, these are middleschool kids not hardened criminals.

    If he pulls a knife of course let him go and then contact the police, once weapons get involved they'll become very interested. this is a local kid though, not some hardened thug, he's 99% of the time not gonna pull a knife or stab you.

    but if you honestly think that these kids are going to overpower you or physically harm you, your best bet is to just relocate as soon as possible.

  • KathrisKathris __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2010
    Wow, this is the beginning of what Starship Troopers refers to as the downfall of 20th century civilization. (The book, not the crappy movie adaptation)

    I wish I would be around in 100 years to compare the changes that have to occur.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just my .02, but there are other means besides legal in dealing with this.. (I'm not talking about beating the kids up, by the way)

    Why not install a few cameras around the house/garage. Most of them are pretty cheap. If you get lucky and clearly catch the kids on camera breaking into your home/garage/car and stealing things, with video and audio, you then have clear evidence to give to the authorities without putting yourself or the kids in any physical danger, and you also have grounds for a civil suit against the family.

    I don't know if that works differently in other countries, but in the US, it's been known to work, as as far as I know, it's not illegal to have surveillance equipment on your property.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong though. I don't want to give bad advice.

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  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Totally legal in Canada as well. If it's an openly public area (ie: not your garage) and you want to tape audio I believe you need to put up warnings.

    Seeing as this isn't the case (unless your garage is regularily left open for public use) you should be fine.

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  • RepoMan1023RepoMan1023 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    This is actually a common problem around the US too. And to the short answer is it's all about politics and there is really not much you can immediately do about it. I don't know how the police department works at your area (local pd, sheriff, state trooper, etc) but that suggestion about talking to your equivalent of the District Attorney is probably the best solution. At least they can give you a definite answer about what they will prosecute.

    The Long Answer:
    I work for a local police department (not a cop) and this stuff happens all the time. There are usually two main causes for lackadaisical police response. Look at Oakland, CA and their recent budget issue. The police chief flat out said that if the city forces him to lay off more police officers they will no longer respond to certain calls such as vandalism, petty theft, and some burglaries etc. Instead people will just have to file a report over the phone. At least your police department send over a real human being at some point.

    Another issue is what the DA (Crown Attorney?) is willing to prosecute. If they say that they will not file against anyone for vandalism unless they are caught in the act by a police officer, then the police will drag their feet in responding and do everything they can to not file the report as it will be a waste of their time. The same goes with juveniles. I don't know how it works in Canada but in the US, the juvenile justice system is a joke. We can catch a kid in the act of burglary during the day and he will be released to his wonderful parents that night only to be caught in the act of burglary the next day. And then when the kid goes to trial the punishment is a slap on the wrist. A lot of police officers get discouraged about this and would rather not have to deal with it (ie talking you out of filing a report).

    The only real solution is getting involved in the local politics. If there are not enough police officers to respond to all calls, then you guys will have to raise taxes or find some other way to find funds to hire more officers. If the Crown Attorney is a douche, then replace him. Since he's appointed over there, petition the guy who appoints them (the Mayor?) or vote out that guy.

    For the immediate future keep calling the police. Do not call 911 to get a faster response. Who ever told you that probably does not work as a 911 dispatcher. Sorry, but having a bicycle stolen out of a garage 15 minutes ago is not an emergency and 911 is for emergencies only. If you don't care if an officer shows up, ask to file the report over the phone. Either way, keep calling. Every time demand a police report be taken. Get your neighbors to call too.

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  • CountBlackulaCountBlackula MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I feel for you, man.

    One person recommended talking to local news agencies about it. That sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Just my .02, but there are other means besides legal in dealing with this.. (I'm not talking about beating the kids up, by the way)

    Why not install a few cameras around the house/garage. Most of them are pretty cheap. If you get lucky and clearly catch the kids on camera breaking into your home/garage/car and stealing things, with video and audio, you then have clear evidence to give to the authorities without putting yourself or the kids in any physical danger, and you also have grounds for a civil suit against the family.

    I don't know if that works differently in other countries, but in the US, it's been known to work, as as far as I know, it's not illegal to have surveillance equipment on your property.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong though. I don't want to give bad advice.

    Audio recording is generally frowned upon in the States. It's less of an issue in Canada but still not very useful. Audio mikes have to be omnidirectional so you're going to get tons of background noise, and unless you want to spend tons of money you aren't going to hear much at all. On the odd occasion you can, the odds of getting useful information is tiny. Given the potential legal headaches verse the usefulness audio recording isn't worth the headache.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Place the kids under citizen's arrest until the police arrive.

    I'd even wager that getting a gun and posting about it would be enough to scare stupid kids away. Don't use it on them of course, but saying you've got a gun is probably enough to get kids to go away.

    Get a fence that can't be easily scaled, lock it. Invest in an outdoor security system, which if you have video will make prosecuting that much easier and getting money back/them in jail a lot less of a hassle. I'm pretty sure people who are convicted of things like trespassing, and stealing hood ornaments off cars enough times get thrown in jail for a bit longer than a day.

    With citizens arrest above, you may think about starting up a neighborhood watch.
    Spoiler:

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm just going to echo what has already been said. Contact your local political officials and contact the media.

    Seriously, if the issue is completely unresponsive, dismissive police officers make a big, public stink about it.

    You wouldn't believe how big of an issue crime is. Nobody who is elected wants to look like they are being irresponsible about crime their constituents are victim to.

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited July 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    Place the kids under citizen's arrest until the police arrive.

    I'd even wager that getting a gun and posting about it would be enough to scare stupid kids away. Don't use it on them of course, but saying you've got a gun is probably enough to get kids to go away.

    Get a fence that can't be easily scaled, lock it. Invest in an outdoor security system, which if you have video will make prosecuting that much easier and getting money back/them in jail a lot less of a hassle. I'm pretty sure people who are convicted of things like trespassing, and stealing hood ornaments off cars enough times get thrown in jail for a bit longer than a day.

    With citizens arrest above, you may think about starting up a neighborhood watch.
    Spoiler:

    Canada. Guns for protection are illegal unless you're a cop.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah I didn't want to try and look up gun laws in Canada because I wasn't so familiar with them. However citizen's arrest is still good.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sue them in civil court for the damages.

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  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I had problems like this when I was younger, though it was in Iowa. Since I was a teenager, I wasn't quite informed of what was going on. Basically, from what I recall, my parents went through all the trouble, but could never get anything done. I don't know exactly what they tried, or every little detail, but it was all moot.

    Some kids that went to the other school would get rambunctious and destroy things. It wasn't entirely to our house, but I believe we were the loudest complainers. And nothing could ever be done. There were 7 police helicopters for a town just over 100,000 people, but since they blew their entire budget on the helicopters, the police didn't care to do anything about anything else unless someone was murdered. And then they'd send out their fleet.

    Anyway. I guess all I'm saying is be prepared for nothing to happen. No matter how high up you go, you're just going to be some dude in some town somewhere complaining about the kids, and no one will care.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'm against the idea of trying to place a citizens arrest on a minor. That's just a headache waiting to happen. You will potentially be in more trouble then it's worth.

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  • DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Canada. Guns for protection are illegal unless you're a cop.

    Only if they're on duty. It isn't like an off-duty cop can just carry a firearm with them.

    If you see them out there call 911 and be vague. Someone is in my house, *address*, hang up. Maybe throw on a scared voice. If you call them and say "Kids are on my lawn" then nothing's really going to come of it.

    Also talking to my sister who is OPP she says they're supposed to send someone out to every 911 call they get. That may just be the area she works in but it sounds legit.

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited July 2010
    DekuStick wrote: »
    Sipex wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Canada. Guns for protection are illegal unless you're a cop.

    Only if they're on duty. It isn't like an off-duty cop can just carry a firearm with them.

    If you see them out there call 911 and be vague. Someone is in my house, *address*, hang up. Maybe throw on a scared voice. If you call them and say "Kids are on my lawn" then nothing's really going to come of it.

    Also talking to my sister who is OPP she says they're supposed to send someone out to every 911 call they get. That may just be the area she works in but it sounds legit.

    As dishonest as it is and as much as I'm going to get buried under replies of "No, red that, it's bad." if you can make it sound like they might be armed (but you're unsure) the police reply a lot faster.

    As long as you aren't claiming that you KNOW they are armed or anything absurd like they committed crimes that didn't happen.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Also, the next time police officers brush you off, ask for their name and badge number and write them down. Maybe say something like "so when I call your boss about this I'll know exactly who to complain about." Might motivate them to try a little harder.

    Just an idea.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You will have to take this to either city government and/or the media. Detailed notes will help in either case.

    Note the date/time/description of any incident, when you call the police, who you talk to and the name/badge number of anyone who responds.

    I would probably start with your government representative and maybe go to a city council meeting (preferably with as many people from your neighborhood as you can). If you don't think that is going anywhere, the media (local paper is good) is an excellent next step.

    Something you can push for is to get a regular patrol through your area. Sometimes just having a cop coming through at random can deter crime.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    So, there are a number of options, depending on which province you live in and whether or not you have the RCMP, provincial police, or municipal police as your local peace officers.

    If you are in the North, B.C. (outside of Vancouver and Abbotsford), most of the prairies (outside of Calgary and Edmonton, I think), or the Maritimes, then you will most likely have the RCMP providing local policing services. This means that you are able to use the RCMP Complaints Commission.

    If you are in Ontario (outside of Toronto), then you will most likely be served by the OPP. You can file complaints either with some internal bureau (info found on the OPP's website) or you could use the Ontario Civilian Police Commission. I recommend the latter, simply because they aren't cops. I also think they have oversight over all peace officers in Ontario, although I'm not sure.

    If you are in Québec then you will most likely be served by the SQ. You can use le système déontologie des policiers (Police ethics system) to file complaints. All of the complaints are handled by the civilian Commissaire à la déontologie policière (police ethics commissioner). The commissioner is independent from the police. Moreover, he has jursidiction over all peace officers in the province, regardless of agency or nominal jurisdiction. So if a fisheries officer hussles you and then the next day an SQ officer gives you a hard time, you would go to the commissioner for both incidents.

    There are other options. The first is to go to your local MLA or MP. They will be happy to hear from a constituent, and even if they can't personally do something about it, they will either (a) direct you to who can help you, or (b) advocate on your behalf with the important folks. An MLA that represents my university used to be solicitor-general in B.C., although he lost his job after too many speeding tickets. Nonetheless, if I had a problem with the police and didn't know what to do about it, I'd go to him no question. That's part of what your local MLA/MP is supposed to do.

    The second "other" option is to go straight to the media. I think that's pretty preposterous, though, and will make it unlikely your complaint will get adequately addressed unless there is some big scandal (unlikely from what you described). Generally speaking it is best to go through whatever bureaucratic processes are in place first, and if you still then haven't received satisfaction, and your MP or MLA can't or won't help you, then you might consider going to the CBC or CTV or whomever.

    I don't really have any advice with respect to dem darn hooligans - but you might consider that crazy noise maker that only teenagers can hear. I have no idea if it's even available here in Canada, but that might be a technological solution to your woes.

    Hope that helps.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser Lead Frog Rammer Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Also, the next time police officers brush you off, ask for their name and badge number and write them down. Maybe say something like "so when I call your boss about this I'll know exactly who to complain about." Might motivate them to try a little harder.
    Just an idea.

    This is excellent advice if you want to piss off a cop, otherwise not so much.

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I should mention I'm not set on 'taking the law into my own hands' - the only times we do anything is when the cops refuse. We really just want to stop them, and the only times we do anything is when either the cops refuse or the cops wouldn't be fast enough to get there and then get them. We know we can get in trouble for 'excessive force' or whatever, so we don't touch them, just try to keep track of them so the cops can find them.

    I can't really get any type of weapon, as they're pretty hard to get ahold of in Canada, and would be mostly useless anyway and probably be more trouble than they're worth. I'm going to talk to the ward councellor about it and see if they can get some police patrolling the area since it's completely ignored by the police.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Place the kids under citizen's arrest until the police arrive.

    I'd even wager that getting a gun and posting about it would be enough to scare stupid kids away. Don't use it on them of course, but saying you've got a gun is probably enough to get kids to go away.

    Get a fence that can't be easily scaled, lock it. Invest in an outdoor security system, which if you have video will make prosecuting that much easier and getting money back/them in jail a lot less of a hassle. I'm pretty sure people who are convicted of things like trespassing, and stealing hood ornaments off cars enough times get thrown in jail for a bit longer than a day.

    With citizens arrest above, you may think about starting up a neighborhood watch.
    Spoiler:
    Canada. Guns for protection are illegal unless you're a cop.
    Also, posting about having a very valuable, portable, easily-sold object in your home might not be the best way to deter burglary.

  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    Is there any way to get in touch with internal affairs? These kids might be related to officers.

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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    Wezoin wrote: »
    I should mention I'm not set on 'taking the law into my own hands' - the only times we do anything is when the cops refuse. We really just want to stop them, and the only times we do anything is when either the cops refuse or the cops wouldn't be fast enough to get there and then get them. We know we can get in trouble for 'excessive force' or whatever, so we don't touch them, just try to keep track of them so the cops can find them.

    I can't really get any type of weapon, as they're pretty hard to get ahold of in Canada, and would be mostly useless anyway and probably be more trouble than they're worth. I'm going to talk to the ward councellor about it and see if they can get some police patrolling the area since it's completely ignored by the police.

    Would planting lilies and Spanish Dagger be overkill?

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