The nameless victims of crime are often left completely unreported


sccTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – Crimebeat On Friday night, there was an assault in Thunder Bay. A twenty-four year old was stabbed, and a fifteen year old youth was assaulted. The incident happened behind a convenience store at the corner of Junot Ave and Red River Road on the northside of the city.

The synopsis of what happened was three individuals left the store with their purchases, and were then apparently accosted by four teenagers. One of the teens assaulted the twenty-four year old and he ended up with multiple stab wounds. The fifteen year old who was assaulted ended up with minor injuries. Sources tell NNL, “He was shaken up a bit about this and only got a small cut under the brow of his left eye”.

If you have ever wondered why so many people are critical of our justice system, and of the political decision-making that supports it, here is, as Paul Harvey said, ‘The rest of the story’…

The nameless victims of crime are often left completely unreported. However in this case, very reliable sources have reported to NNL that the fifteen year old youth who was assaulted is not someone new to police or to authorities. The youth has a history with police, and with the courts. His incidents involve property crimes, assaults, and drug offences. He has spent time in the youth detention centre. This youth’s last experience with the courts resulted in the judge ordering that he attend school. However as his legal guardian is not in Thunder Bay, apparently the Board of Education won’t register him to attend school.

Sources tell NNL that his mother has contacted authorities in Thunder Bay. She has reportedly gone so far as to report her fifteen year old son as missing; a run-away. However that has not solved anything. The mother was told that the 19 year old single mother of two who served as his surety for a court incident has the responsibility for this youth.

It is a situation that goes so far as at one point last year, Children’s Aid and police escorted this young person to an airplane to fly him home. He was reportedly escorted through security, and once the CAS and the police left, so did the fifteen year old. He simply walked out of the airport and stayed here in the city.

This situation where this young person is suspected by family and friends of now being addicted to crack is one that likely represents part of the crime problem in Thunder Bay. There are not sufficient treatment facilities in the city, and police and other authorities are often left unable to do more.
Sources are telling NNL that it likely may have been a drug deal gone bad, and the individuals who were assaulted may have owed money to those who assaulted them. Reportedly the fifteen year old, according to family members is likely doing hard drugs, and continuing down a trail that will not lead to anywhere positive in the long run.

Is there a solution?

Across the city there are groups which are forming, with an eye toward engaging at the local neighbourhood level toward solving some of the problems. In the long run that may prove to be more helpful than some of the government run programs. It is people helping people. In the longer run, one of the solutions is making sure that young people are not enticed into the world of drugs, alcohol and crime.

There are solutions that will work, one is happening in the neighbourhood where this stabbing incident happened. The Boys and Girls Club of Thunder Bay is located in the area, and is serving as a place for younger people to gather and have a safe environment to play and be together. The club however is having a slow start to getting older teens to gather there. Also located in the Boys and Girls Club, which is at 270 Windsor Street, is Alpha Court which offers a series of programs for adults struggling with mental health or addiction issues.

One often hears about how people “fall through the cracks in the system”. This is a case where it looks like a fifteen year old teenager is doing just that, and there appears little in the system to help solve the problem, and likely save a life.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer

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