There was a compelling story in the Toronto Star on Sunday about a Toronto area teen who helped save the life of a teenager in the UK. The despondent UK teenager had posted on Tumblr that he was attempting suicide by swallowing pills. Shockingly, a number of people responded online by taunting him to go ahead and do it. Randomly, his post came up on the Tumblr account of 14 year-old Paige Dayal who was disturbed enough that she and her mom went into action. First they called their local Newmarket police who said there was nothing they could do and referred her to the RCMP. There she was also told that this was beyond their capacity. Beyond their capacity. Now this is the team that boasts some of the most sophisticated crime solving tools in the world. And isn’t Canada the country that pioneered tracking down online child porn operators? But tracking down one loan nameless teenager in the UK was beyond their capacity.
Undaunted, Laura began to search the web. Somehow she determined that Luke lived in Melksham, near Bath. From there she was able to reach the central police station in Bath Region. And two hours later, local police knocked on Luke’s door, saving his life. Now if a young teenager could figure this out, why couldn’t the RCMP? I’d say it was apathy and lack of will.
When I hear about the declining integrity of our national police force, I can accept a lot of excuses. Crime solving isn’t easy and hindsight makes the smallest detail look obvious. But when a 14 year-old teen can use technology to solve this kind of challenge, it makes the RCMP look either inept or indifferent. I can actually swallow inept although it does sort of stick on the way down, but indifference from our national police is just not acceptable. Not by any standard. This is just not the Canadian way.