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RCMP: use the media to warn, gather information from the reading public, please

A 15-year-old girl had to get three stitches on her face after a woman attacked her with what the girl said was a metal object. Photo provided

It took three days and some gentle prodding by Yellowknifer for the RCMP to put out a news release last week seeking information from the public on a report that two strangers attacked a 15-year-old girl on her way to school.

The police justify the delay by insisting the attack was “isolated incident and public safety is not at risk.”

It's an odd response to say the least. Even if police have information ensuring them that the incident was indeed “isolated,” and no else is at risk it brushes aside an important fact – namely that a violent crime has been committed and suspects are still at large.

It's particularly concerning the crime involves a youth on her way to school in broad daylight. If the RCMP is at all serious about asking the public's help in identifying suspects, waiting three days to alert the public is an odd way to advance its efforts in finding the assailants.

A more immediate alert would put the public on the lookout, better help identify possible eyewitnesses and provide suspects less opportunities to evade arrest.

The RCMP are careful about asking the public for help and for good reason – one doesn't want to overwhelm police with trivial observations and commentary that bog down investigative efforts.

Yellowknifer understands how having to answer questions from media is time consuming, even irritating.

To this we say, when seeking culprits in serious crimes let the media be your trumpet and the public your many extra sets of eyes.

The RCMP can rest assured Yellowknifer can be a valuable tool, one police can use to get the word out about crimes and criminals. Don't be shy RCMP, use us.