Need to Respond to Rising Crime and Violence
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
There has been a spike in criminal activity over the last two weeks a few we must label brazen.
The Attorney General and Commissioner of Police will point to the ‘stats’ to support the perennial concern of Barbadians that criminal activity remains at a low level comparatively so. The blogmaster reminds the goodly gentlemen that the ‘stats’ being quoted are criminal acts reported by the public.
The observation is that when the ugly head of crime raises its head higher than normal there always a hue and cry from the public calling for the police force to be more efficient. For the Courts to efficiently execute. There is a heavy focus on ENFORCEMENT.
Barbados is fortunate – using the word loosely – to be able to study the criminal landscape of our regional neighbours where the crime ‘stats’ are higher than Barbados. A conclusion is that it will not matter if there is an increase in the boots on the ground, whether we co-opt the army to support the police or even arm the police with more firepower. Other considerations have to be factored in the solution to be able to wrestle the vexing matter of increasing crime.
What are the underlying factors driving the dysfunctional behaviour affecting segments in the society threatening to destabilize our society? Bear in mind one of the redeeming and differentiating qualities of Barbados post independence has been the perception and reputation of being an orderly society with citizens showing respect for law and order. To state the obvious the blogmaster’s concern about escalating crime includes blue and white collar crime.
We have had discussions on BU’s pages about the rising crime in Barbados. The focus has been on what is visible, the acts. If we start from a basic position that a society is the “the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community”- the sustainable solution to tackling rising crime must be about influencing behaviours. We have to improve enforcement, however, a more proactive approach to dealing with parental delinquency, maintaining standards in the school system and fostering a culture in our communities where we are our borther’s keeper. Overarching what is required is for our leaders in the political and social sphere to execute on relevant plans that are relevant.
This weekend the blogmaster had reason to be in a rough neighbourhood and was intrigued to listen to a blockman sharing his view about the gun violence and brazen robberies being committed in Barbados of late. He was emphatic that it will get worse. Perpetrating violence by a young lawless group according to him is regarded as a ‘badge of honour’ and often a rite of passage in the communities they exist. The culture espoused in ghetto music out of Jamaica feeds a mentality that middle class Barbadians removed from village and hood life cannot begin to fathom.
Do we know what we need to do to haul this lawless segment from the morass they now find themselves?
Do we appreciate time has run out on ignoring the situation?