CAN BUSINESSES USE “SELF HELP” IF THEY PERCEIVE THE POLICE TO BE UNRESPONSIVE?
Two recent newspaper articles discuss business owners that take matters into their own hands. The first article is from the Record. You can find it here.
In essence, owners of a local Big Bee Discount Store post pictures of alleged store shoplifters. The storeowners hope that the images will shame these individuals from entering the store in the future.
The storeowners argue that they do not want to “bother” the local police force for thefts of such little dollar value.
The second article obtained national attention. You can find a copy of it here.
In essence, an owner of a Tim Horton’s Restaurant threw a bucket full of water on a homeless man on the sidewalk. As “Pete”, the victims friend pointed out, the owner could have called the police.
It appears clear that the storeowners are frustrated with their situations and feel that the law and the local police are unwilling or unable to help.
As an owner of a small business, I can sympathize with the frustration of these business owners. I know how it feels when you have been robbed and, as a regular patron of Tim Hortons, I can appreciate why storeowners don’t want their patrons accosted at their restaurant.
I believe that these cases are reminders that the money we don’t invest in poverty reduction and mental health treatment is not money saved, but costs transferred. The burden goes to storeowners. It also falls upon the families of the mentally ill and the children of the extremely poor.
I am not a liberal that thinks money will solve every social problem. I also realize that we need to have a correct balance between the public and public sector. I am saying, however, that you get what you pay for. That includes the public sector as well.