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Who is responsible for the crimes in SVG?

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Tue Nov 11,2014

Editor: If you ask a member of the No Direction Party (NDP) this question, he or she will angrily shout out “the ULP” – meaning the Unity Labour Party, which is headed by Dr Ralph Gonsalves. The NDP blames the ULP government for everything, even the rain when it falls, so crime is no exception. However, individuals gifted with commonsense know that no government can prevent crimes, no matter how wealthy or poor the country.{{more}}

Criminal behaviour is related to individuals’ value systems, rather than their politics. What do I mean by this? To answer this question, we must define values. Values are a set of beliefs, customs, mores, etc, that shape individuals’ behaviors within the society. Some examples are education, respect, truth, honesty, integrity, responsibility, marriage, and work, just to name a few. A person’s value system can predict what he or she will do or, wouldn’t do. This system of values can vary from individual to individual; from family to family and from country to country.

Parents teach values to their children one way or another. The most effective way a parent teaches values is by examples. Children are like sponges. They absorb everything and so a parent’s values are subconsciously passed on to the children without much effort.

Above, I listed some positive values. However, there are negative values too. Examples of negative values are irresponsibility, ddishonesty, illiteracy, intoxication, stealing, abandonment, lying, shacking up, cussing, etc.

A crime is a behavior that is legally prohibited. In order for civility, which simply means a peaceful state, to exist, the rulers within the country design a system of laws. These laws lay out the types of behaviours that are permitted and those that are prohibited. An individuals’ value system can determine whether or not he or she will adhere to those guidelines. Individuals who choose to operate outside those legal guidelines are violating these guidelines (laws). We call those behaviors crimes and the individuals who engage in them criminals.

When the authorities, usually government, establish these laws (guidelines), the citizens are expected not to violate them. There are consequences, what are referred to as penalties, for violating them. Generally individuals who commit crimes (refuse to live within the established guidelines) have what we call NEGATIVE values. They value behaviours such as irresponsibility, stealing, lying, illiteracy, drunkenness, disrespect, etc. A person with these values generally initiates conflicts. These conflicts can escalate and become serious crimes.

A person who is disrespectful can initiate conflict with another person who is also disrespectful and the end result can be murder. These negative values create slippery slopes into more complex negative behaviours.

The NDP is directly responsible for a high percentage of crimes in St Vincent and the Grenadines simply because of the values it teaches. The NDP value system is completely negative at this point and their behaviours are being absorbed by children and adults throughout the country. For example, Marcus Providence, who interchanges aliases, has created a page on Facebook where only negative values are promoted and encouraged. Many of these individuals that are regular bile spreaders have minor children and grand children that absorb these behaviours and so they are passed on from one generation to another.

The ONLY effective method for reducing and preventing crimes is practising good values. Once you have conditioned a child’s mind with the wrong set of values, it is almost impossible to change it. There are certain cultures where crime is a daily headline and others where individuals still leave their doors open and walk the streets in peace.

When was the last time you saw a Japanese or Chinese person on Facebook cussing? When have you seen them in public cussing and fighting each other? Within their culture RESPECT is highly valued. Therefore, you will never see those behaviours that derive from disrespect.

However, among Vincentians, DISRESPECT is likewise highly valued. This is the major culprit for the crimes in the country. No matter how much resources the Government invests in fighting crimes, it would be ineffective as long as the country maintains a NEGATIVE VALUE SYSTEM. Parents and teachers are on the front lines in influencing behaviours. When parents and teachers are on Facebook trading profanity in an international marketplace, crimes in SVG will only continue to rise.

Helena R Edwards

Mount Vernon, NY

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