Online comments lead NB RCMP to make statement
The New Brunswick RCMP would like to address current conversations and actions regarding so-called "vigilante justice" in New Brunswick.
We understand the frustrations being voiced in some of the communities we serve across New Brunswick. Every crime that is committed has an effect on the victim and those around them, and it impacts our wider sense of safety. We know people in our communities want to feel safe, and want action. No one, however, can operate outside the law to address those that are believed to be breaking it.
Police work is extremely complex – our investigations must be conducted justly and fairly, and within the parameters of the law. Our investigations often take time to ensure we have the evidence required to support criminal charges. While the public may want faster outcomes, we cannot circumvent our responsibilities under the law. The RCMP takes every report of crime seriously and we work diligently to be as effective as possible with our resources, and to ensure we are meeting the legal standards required of us that will support successful prosecutions.
Those who attempt to take matters into their own hands outside the legal process put themselves, and their communities, at risk. This includes a very real threat of escalating violence, of serious injury or death and, further exhausting our limited policing resources. These actions can also impede ongoing investigations and evidence gathering, as well as future court proceedings. Anyone involved in vigilante activities risk facing arrest and legal proceedings themselves. Taking police matters into your own hands, or condoning those who do, is irresponsible and reckless.
We need communities and citizens to work together with us – legally and safely – in order to protect everyone. We need people to report crime and suspicious behavior, and to call police when there is a threat to public safety. We need the public to understand the role police play in conjunction with courts, governments and communities, and the complexity of the work we undertake every day. There are no quick solutions regarding crime. But there are lasting ones, if we work together.
If you are a victim of crime, or if you have information that can help our investigations, please report it to police. You can call 1-888-506-RCMP/1-888-506-1GRC for non-urgent situations. The New Brunswick RCMP Online Crime Reporting website is available 24/7/365 for reports of mischief, damage to property, or thefts under $5,000.
Always call police or 9-1-1 immediately if the incident is still in progress, or if it is an emergency. Whether urgent or non-urgent, every call for service to the RCMP is important.