Tough times and hard crime go hand in hand.
In recent days Cumberland County's Integrated Street Crime Unit, RCMP and municipal police have been busting grow ops, warning of online and telephone scams and cautioning cottage owners to keep an eye on their weekend getaways as break and enters have been on the rise.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada unveiled Nova Scotia's unemployment numbers, noting 10,000 jobs disappeared from the province between May 2010 and May 2011. Factoring in the increase of part-time jobs created in that year, it could be argued only 7,300 positions were lost, but the bottom line is that not enough jobs were created to mitigate our losses.
Law enforcement and crime bills have been heavy rhetoric for both our federal and provincial governments and the recent increase in criminal activity only stands to fuel the dialogue but we would caution our policy makers to keep Statistics Canada's numbers at hand when they take the floor.
We are by no means saying people turn to crime because of unemployment but if we were to take into context the phrasing "criminal element" we surmise its prevalence correlates to the health of an economy. Clearly, as ours takes a hit and unemployment is on the rise, we are also reading about an increase in criminal activity.
Would creating more full-time jobs mark a reduction in criminal activity in our region?
Given our empirical observations, we think it's an experiment worth putting to the test and one we should hear more about than partisan opinions.
An action plan, after all, is about more than just roads.