Right to know vs public safety

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This week the CBC came under fire from the RNC for releasing details of a 2011 report on the exploitation, and sex trade in Newfoundland and Labrador. As I watched the evening news unfold, it seemed as if they (the CBC) were going to be dropping a bombshell of unbelievable facts that could change our lives forever.

Ultimately the CBC didn't report much, other than the fact that they had the report in thier hands--and the RNC would rather they didn't "since it was a matter of public safety". This left everyone , including myself , wondering what could be in that report that could possibly be worse than anything the public doesn't already know, or heard about in the past?

It almost seemed as if the RNC and government was attempting to keep us in a state of bliss where the topic of sexual abuse and exploitation was a concern--when in reality, this could not be further from the truth.

Our police and government go to great lengths to keep the public fully informed in all areas of public safety--in a way that will not incite panic, or over reaction by the masses. At the same time the police do not want to push deviant behaviour farther behind closed doors, out of their reach for investigation, and prosecution of guilty parties--which is exactly what could happen if the wrong information is made public before the conclusion of an investigation funded by public dollars, and dedicated law enforcers. 

It is true--the depth, and volume of sexual crimes in what we assume is a civilized society, probably goes well beyond what the average citizen is aware of. We have to be rational when it comes to advise being given by the police even when it seems to make no sense. The police are probably more afraid than the public, given that they know what could happen if they let the perpetrators of serious crimes go unpunished. They have seen first hand, the results of societies most despicable criminals--something the media, and public rarely get to see, and for a lot of people , it's a topic they'd rather not hear about altogether--like when the "check engine" light comes on in your car...cover it with a band aid.

I firmly believe that abuse towards women and children simply does not get the attention it deserves--hiding a problem, big or small, only makes the situation worse. However; when the police say they don't want information made public, you can bet it came from well thought out reasoning...the safety of your family.

Prosecuting sex crimes is probably the hardest challenge any police investigator will face in their lifetime. Anything we can do to help increase their success rate, makes us all part of a team shooting for the same goal. The safety of my wife and daughters is worth more than a "good read" when I get home from work.




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