Canadian police find their roots in the Bow Street Runners, an organization formed to protect the people of London from crime.
They prevented crime by being visible and publishing prosecutions and they responded to crime based on information from the community.
They were there to help the community and they communicated with the community. This led to Robert Peel’s statement “the police are the public; the public are the police.”
This form of policing is known as “policing by consent.”
In simple terms the police are uniformed and trained members of the public, responsible to protect the public as required by the public. It requires trust and communication.
This differs from many systems outside of Canada and the United Kingdom.
School trustees in New Westminster and Vancouver have identified that there is a gap between police and some groups of people. Rather than seeking to close the gaps by fostering understanding and communication they have elected to enhance the gap using fear and mistrust.
Their move is engineered to hamper the police in their efforts to protect the people.
If a child is in fear or has been threatened or even hurt, they must feel safe reaching for police. Should they not seek protection of the police?
If not, then where should they turn for protection, gangs?