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Crimes against peaceful people

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Almost every week we hear about some heinous crimes by Vincentian against Vincentian. The most unsettling recently is a broad daylight robbery, 1.40pm to be precise, in Arnos Vale on Friday, September 3rd, 2010, reported in the SEARCHLIGHT Midweek paper last week. Rickydene Alexander, national swimming coach, claimed that he was robbed at gunpoint in full view of persons who were at a nearby shop.{{more}} According to his report, those who saw the incident thought that law enforcement officers were doing routine checks.

The danger out there is creating fear

It is a dangerous situation and it concerns all of us because we do not know when seemingly ordinary persons would turn into dangerous criminals. What this means is that our people cannot walk the street without looking over their shoulders. Gone are the carefree days. Because in one moment, the criminal could cover his face, wield a gun and carry out his heinous act in broad daylight.

Our homes, no matter how secured, are nothing to dangerous burglars who would rip out burglar bars without a qualm. One person in the Villa area told me that his house was broken into nine times. A lady from Carriere told me that her house was broken into three times in one month, and if we speak to other persons we would hear more stories of woes.

Causes of crime

Those with a criminal mind would take the risk as they see it as an easy way to obtain money and material things. It is not because of poverty. There are lazy people who think work is drudgery and who want to obtain a quick buck, rather than work honestly. They are not concerned about earning a living through hard work, but by appropriating that which belongs to us. We cannot blame it on the economic climate because there is plenty to do, but there are people who would not work.

Action plan

We cannot throw up our hands in frustration. We have to do something about the present state of affairs. We have to take drastic measures to keep these bold face people off the streets. Our people must be able to walk the streets to do their business without fear. They must be able to occupy their homes in a manner befitting a people of a free country.

There is still a need for the police to provide more security whether in plain clothes or uniform. The police have to step up to the challenge. Each police officer in his district must know the people and especially the criminals and have an idea of their whereabouts. Mr. Alexander claims that they responded quickly when called, but there are many who talk about their slow response to calls. It would be difficult to be everywhere, but there is a need for more presence in our communities.

We, too, can do our part. We can do so by being our brothers’ keeper. Those who are at home should look over the property of the neighbors who are away from home. We have to forget the jealousy and hate and help others for the good of humanity. And as the saying goes, “Today for me, tomorrow for you.” Be on the look out in the neighborhood for strange faces. The guard dogs, cameras, burglar bars, locks or alarms are costly but you have to protect your property. Keep safe!

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is: [email protected]