Throw enough money at a problem and you’ll find a politician willing to champion the fight…
We’ve covered many times before just how bad car theft in Ontario, Canada has become in the past few years. Now it seems government officials are ready to roll up their sleeves and do what’s they’re good at: spend lots of money. According to Oakville News, Ontario Solicitor General Michael Kerzner announced at a press conference on May 3 the province will drop $51 million CAD over the coming three years to combat rising vehicle theft.
See the car Ken Block’s daughter will drive at Pikes Peak here.
As noted by Kerzner, cars are stolen on average every 48 minutes in Ontario. We keep hearing from people who claim we’re sensationalizing a minor problem, but the reality is vehicle theft is a huge and exploding problem in far too many areas of North America and elsewhere.
According to the report, Kerzner says Ontario will form a special auto theft and organized crime team that’s part of the Ontario Provincial Police. Considering most car thefts are being orchestrated by organized crime who have the funding to outfit thieves with sophisticated technology to make swiping vehicles a breeze, that’s a wise move. We’ve long been pointing out this trend isn’t being fueled by a few poor souls trying to put bread on their family’s table.
Also included in the $51 million in funding is a Major Auto Theft Prosecution Team which will work with OPP for particularly challenging court cases. Organized crime groups often can afford a Saul Goodman or several, creating a real headache for prosecutors.
The funding will also be used to streamline communication of car theft intelligence among the different jurisdictions in Ontario. We can’t believe that hasn’t been done already, clearly demonstrating authorities there have sadly been asleep at the wheel.
Ontario also plans to launch public awareness campaigns. That’s great, but those don’t always curb the actions of thieves. Still, we hope this at least puts a serious dent in car theft throughout Ontario and results in taking thieves off the streets, as well as locking up the people who employ them.
Image via Ontario Provincial Police