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EDITORIAL: We need to make pranksters pay dearly
They happen often.
A phone rings, the voice on the other end claims a bomb will explode, the building is evacuated and police officers and others search, almost always in vain, for explosives.
Schools tend to be targeted, usually as summer nears.
Courtrooms are at times chosen, as are other highly visible locations.
To those who decide to engage in what they may consider a prank, such actions may seem little more than harmless fun.
To the police officers who must don protective equipment and conduct a search, and for the people forced outside for hours on end, such mischief is anything but a prank.
This week’s bomb threat at the Ramada Inn is a case in point.
Someone called from within the building to say a bomb had been planted.
In addition, three notes were found, apparently threatening the same.
It was more than five hours between the beginning of the drama and the all-clear — no, bombs had not be found but, yes, an enormous amount of time and money had been wasted.
We suggest that when those responsible for pulling this stunt are caught and convicted, the punishment address the time and money and stress involved.
We suggest those found guilty be forced to repay the RCMP for every cent it spent on the operation (including bringing a dog team in from Kelowna).
We suggest those found guilty be forced to reimburse the Ramada Inn every cent of lost revenue during those five-and-a-half hours.
We suggest those found guilty be forced to apologize in person to every person affected — from hotel staff and Mounties to every hotel guest registered that day.
Only when such thoughtless actions are connected to real justice (not vague community service or conditional sentences that do little to deter) might we see these acts and others curtailed.