We must remain vigilant

BY LUCAS HUTTERI

It has become far too common to hear of vehicular attacks in the news. It unfortunately appears to be the flavour-of-the-year for attackers. Gun violence in many countries is rare, but vehicles are available to nearly everyone and they can be turned into deadly weapons in the wrong hands. Some of the more prominent vehicular attacks in 2017 include:

London, England. This city has suffered three attacks this year. The attack on the Westminster Bridge killed four, and injured 50. On London Bridge, eight were killed and 48 were injured, and in Finsbury Park near a mosque, one person was killed and nine more were injured.

Spain was the target of two attacks. In Barcelona a van plowed through a crowd killing 13 pedestrians and injuring 120. Nine hours afterwards, another incident occurred in Cambrils leaving one woman dead and five others injured.

North America has been targeted as well. In Charlottesville, Virginia a white supremacist drove a car into counter-protesters killing one and injuring 19 others on Aug. 12. And most recently on our own soil, a man rammed a police officer with a car, stabbed him, and then took off in a U-Haul van hitting four pedestrians in Edmonton two weeks ago.

It’s difficult to start every day hearing about terrorist attacks one after the other. We start to wonder if it could happen in our own communities. In the wake of all these attacks, especially Edmonton, how are Canadian police now handling large events?

With this year’s Elmira Maple Syrup Festival pulling in over 70,000 attendees, a fire truck was used to block an intersection so vehicles couldn’t be driven down the main street into the crowd of pedestrians.
According to therecord.com, police in Waterloo Region increased their presence at this year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, with police stationed on rooftops and more officers in the crowds. They also operated more RIDE programs throughout the region in an attempt to keep impaired drivers off the roads
It’s great that Canadian police forces are working to plug up each and every new hole that terrorists, domestic or not, poke in our defences, but the fact is that attackers are finding new ways to commit such atrocities.

All levels of the Canadian government need to remain vigilant and allocate resources and even more tax dollars toward public safety, especially toward events that attract tens of thousands of people. Just because Canada has been a relatively safe haven, doesn’t mean it will remain that way forever.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

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