We must fight crime at its social roots

The rash of liquor store robberies in Winnipeg says more about underlying social problems than it does about the effectiveness of police

We must fight crime at its social rootsWinnipeg has experienced a rash of liquor store swarmings involving masked individuals who have become increasingly accustomed to little or no resistance. The best deterrent to crime is not the severity of sentence or punishment, but the certainty of detection and apprehension. An even better and common-sense response would be to mitigate the underlying precursors…

Searching for a needed break from reality?

Canadian mystery drama, from Murdoch to Doyle to 19-2, can help you escape the roller-coaster of life

Searching for a needed break from reality?Many people are consumed with current events, including the U.S. impeachment inquiry, the saga involving Canadian Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and the U.K. general election. Yet there are moments when even this enthusiastic political pundit has had enough and needs to briefly escape the roller-coaster of life. So I delve into sports, movies, art, animation…

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social roots

The answer to addiction will not be found in the industries of incarceration and prescription

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social rootsOn Oct. 21, pharmaceutical opioid distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a US$260-million settlement just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the first opioid-era federal lawsuit in Ohio. This is the first of hundreds of similar lawsuits filed by cities, counties, Native American tribes…

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolved

The end of carding won’t cease the gathering of information. Instead, it will be entered into police data bases without the public’s knowledge

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolvedWe’re in the era of predictive policing, geo-profiling and crime prevention – carding 2.0 – and need to ask the tough questions about what that means. Understanding and safeguarding personal freedom and civil rights is more critical than ever. The pace at which artificial intelligence is being developed and incorporated is far outpacing the regulatory…

Forget about speeders, let’s crack down on driving while phoning

You just don’t have the necessary eye-hand-ear co-ordination to drive and carry on a conversation at the same time, not even if you’re using Bluetooth

Forget about speeders, let’s crack down on driving while phoningHey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you … the guy who seems to be talking to himself or, worse, the one with a cellphone plastered to the side of his head. A moment of your time, if you please. I’ve been stuck in traffic behind you for a while and even if you haven’t noticed,…

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costs

The province needs to get its house in order. That means, among other things, good old-fashioned police work

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costsBritish Columbia is hardly a tax haven in the mould of Panama, yet organized crime has still established a foothold for laundering,– according to some estimates, $1 billion or more a year. Until last year, despite mounting activity, the problem flew under the radar. Now several reports have made their way to the media and…

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacks

Canadian towns and cities hold valuable data yet are poorly prepared to detect and fend off attacks

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacksCybercriminals have caught Canadian municipalities flat-footed. Our cities must get with the times or send more taxpayer money and private data out the door. Cybercrime costs Canada $3.12 billion a year. A portion of that involves ransom payments to cybercriminals who digitally hold computers hostage. Ransomware, which involves remotely encrypting hard drives and demanding money…

Christine Silverberg keeps a clear eye on her goals

The former chief of police in Calgary has built a second career as a lawyer

Christine Silverberg keeps a clear eye on her goalsChristine Silverberg, former chief of police in Calgary, is a barrister and solicitor at SilverbergLegal. Tell me what areas of law you specialize in today? Silverberg: My law practice includes legal advocacy, civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution – including mediation and arbitration – and conflict resolution. Because I have a broad-based background in policing, executive…

Are we using Google Translate responsibly?

As with many new technologies, there are limits as to when this software can and should be used

Are we using Google Translate responsibly?Omar Cruz-Zamora was pulled over by police while driving in Kansas City in October 2017. The police officer used Google Translate to ask if he could search the car. Cruz-Zamora said yes, the officer found drugs and Cruz-Zamora was arrested. This officer is just one of the more than half a billion people worldwide who…

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing career

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is a watchdog that barks public interest but whose bite is about self-interest

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing careerThe Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) was created to provide independent civilian oversight over municipal police forces in British Columbia. But a string of recent cases shows the OPCC is more about overreach than oversight. I know. I was one of the cases. This summer, after 40 years of unblemished service with the…