EDITORIAL: Input needed on cold cases

Public's assistance can be crucial to help police solve crimes

Choosing to avoid a scene or turn a blind eye to someone in need can have consequences.

Just ask the female cyclist who was attacked as she rode her bike near the busy intersection of Jacklin and Jenkins roads around 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17.

An assailant looking to steal the rider’s backpack hit her in the back of the head, knocked her down on the roadway and stole her expensive mountain bike as well as the backpack.

As of this week, West Shore RCMP said the case has been closed due to a lack of new leads into the investigation.

This was not a simple break-in, or petty theft where the stolen goods are likely long gone. It was an unprovoked, violent assault of a person who was simply going about their business and travelling from point A to point B.

We wonder what the police told this victim when they closed the case. That part of the scenario concerns us.

More troubling is the fact no one with good information connected with the RCMP with what they knew or saw, to the point where a decision was made to shift police resources elsewhere.

Being ignorant to what’s going on around us isn’t necessarily epidemic on the West Shore.

Last month, a man driving a BMW with stolen plates crashed head-on into a van and fled, leaving his badly injured teenage passenger behind. Onlookers gave chase, but the man escaped. Thanks to numerous tips from the public, however, RCMP continue to move forward on the case.

Information gained from the public also helped solve a vicious sexual assault that took place on the Galloping Goose earlier this year.

West Shore RCMP recently asked for help from the public with an investigation into a suspicious dump truck fire from Nov. 1. It’s just the latest example where the police have little to go on, but are expected to do something to bring closure for the victims of a crime.

The public has a role to play in maintaining a safe society. That includes paying attention when someone attempts or succeeds in disrupting ours or others’ sense of safety and security. Sometimes even seemingly insignificant information can make a difference.

For those who are afraid to get involved, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or online at victoriacrimestoppers.com. Otherwise, call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.

Do it for your community.