Published in


Exposed and Accountable

Tired of Catch and Release? Seen the court system seemingly ruin good policing too many times?

There is a safe legal way to handle this. Here are some of the results we’ve seen that give us hope.

The case of a local graffiti vandal who targeted 3 Grande Prairie vehicles got coverage all over western Canada. Way over 20,000 views and several press coverages. There wasn’t a hint of vandalism on that end of the City for months afterwards.
The case of a grown man stealing a bicycle out of the hands of a youth in front of Dairy Queen in broad daylight seen 14,000 views in under 24 hours. People were asking themselves do I want to live in a town where youth can’t even go to Dairy Queen anymore? Amazingly there were no more reported incidents about this suspect for months afterwards.
The case of a local citizen robbing a garage from midnight to 4 am brought hundreds of people forward to identify the suspect, the location of the stolen goods and more. For the first time he was convicted and got 18 months without the video evidence even being submitted.
The case of two broads swinging a small bat and threatening retail clerks as they walked out of the store with handfuls of items brought so much bad exposure one immediately died her hair and the other left town. Both were notorious up until then and quiet as could be after that.

In all but one of the cases above there were no charges laid as far as we know. But there was a lot of social pressure put on the bad actors. At least one and likely two were really drug crazed but still the pressure applied changed behaviour. By having everything on video and time stamped it also removed any false narratives. One other thing we’ve learned is that friends of suspects can be excellent story tellers when the pressure is on.

We were reminded of these cases after getting these two emails received from two different towns in BC this week — Mar 5, 2020.

Email #1
One problem I think should be expected here, and probably anywhere in BC, is that even if 100% of all criminals were caught in the act by police, they would still just be let out the same day due to crown counsel not approving most charges that police recommend. Many people have seen police let bike thieves go, after taking back a stolen bike, because “nothing the police do can stop these people” and “the legal system doesn’t work against people with nothing to lose”.

This is what we deal with out here on a daily basis in every downtown core:

Email #2

First, I found the process to be very simple, straightforward and intuitive. No issues posting the “Alert” whatsoever.

Post was online in the app shortly afterwards and was exactly what I expected based upon the “Guides” inside the app when I installed it.


I did remove the post this morning, almost 12 hours after posting it due to the nature of these characters and their activities. They meet every night (there are multiple groups that work together) in parking lots and behind businesses to start out on their nights “activities”. By the time morning comes, they are tucked back into their hovels until the next night rolls around and it begins all over again. Mostly it is car break-ins and property being stolen from peoples outdoor areas (yard, carports, garages, back yards) as well as businesses being hit. Most of the activity occurs between 10pm and 4–5am. It is also mostly the same individuals who are doing the bulk of the crimes. Most of it is the Drug Addicts, and “Homeless” and if they get caught, they are back on the street in less than 12 hours most times; right back at it. One of our most prolific gents has been doing it for almost 3 years and steals every night and literally “Anything” he can get his hands on. He doesn’t even hide what he is doing anymore as he knows there is no repercussions, as I am sure is very common everywhere now.

I hope they all start to use it as we are seeing this wave of property crime skyrocketing in our city and there is little we can do to combat it with the system.


I watched the news piece from Nanaimo. It’s pretty sad when the police say it’s going to not get better. That’s not exactly what he said but the thought is similar.

I get that there have been lots of catch and release and that can be discouraging. RCMP have done the same in some communities that are using the app. But when we have those special cases where the suspect is caught on video taking an item and then caught with the item on the getaway a lot of their normal alibi’s are removed. There can be harsher bail conditions and more sentencing. No promises but we have seen this happen. At least with all that evidence the court of public opinion can become very one-sided and it literally can start to persuade how the crown or a judge treats situations like this because they know there is public accountability. Again no promises this will happen but we’ve seen seeds of these kinds of changes in the 8 months we are live.

So if we had a very dense network of users on Lightcatch and that store owner had a camera with a mic on the outside of the building this is how I would handle it.

a) Post video of deranged man trying to get into store with audio on Lightcatch and then Lightcatch will share to social media. Even better would be to share video of him hitting himself and scaring children. Normally this would be a breach of privacy but in his case he’s an apparent danger to the public and it would likely be compliant.

This looks very bad for town council if it gets 10,000–20,000 views and a good video can do that quickly. The current video in the news clip is bad but better footage with audio would absolutely move public opinion.

b) Have business with security camera system and alarm system and SiteSafe.

c) When rock breaks window — post footage of person on Lightcatch instantly using Crime Blocker™ Owner can have alarm company monitor 24/7. (In this case they probably need 24/7 monitoring as it sounds very bad in their area.)

d) If enough of community tracks Mr Rock Throwers movements after rock breaks window for police to make an arrest this will be over the top bad exposure. Police will let business owner know they made an arrest. If she has a police report from earlier incident then they will likely inform her it is the same person. All posts on Lightcatch and social media are updated showing the kind of danger to public safety that is present in the streets.

e) Nanaimo will become a little more famous that day as such damning public evidence will be picked up by several channels. The economic impact for being a haven to rock throwers and children scarers is pretty big. Business will not want to support civic leadership if the evidence is so out in the open it’s being shared to 1,000’s of people. Tourism will eventually be impacted if it’s left unchecked.

f) We’ll have data how other crown dept’s deal with other Mr Rock Throwers. If some are able to protect the public and businesses better that can be shared to make the whole system more effective.

g) If crown doesn’t deal with Mr Rock Thrower after all that visible evidence is captured and made public soon the crown will appear more ineffective than their peers in other areas.

This is part of the way Lightcatch is going to help communities in North America in 2020. If you want to see less repeat offenders in your area download Lightcatch today and start sharing a free service that can help shine a light on bad actors in a new and better way.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store