23 January, 2007

Crime: Guest Editorial 3

What a Crime!”.

When are we going to get serious about crime on this island? Some get involved in criminal activity out of need, others out of greed. Certainly, there should be no “need” on this island at present. We have managed to create more jobs than the number of people available. Criminals involved in stealing should be severely punished for their willfulness.

With respect to other heinous crimes, we have several issues that need to be addressed urgently. Firstly, we have to investigate and identify the causes behind young people turning to violence and crime, and follow up with social reconstruction.

Secondly, there must always be strong deterrent to discourage crime. To begin with, we must strengthen our ability to solve crime and to apprehend the perpetrators. Then, the punishment must be appropriate to the offence. Obviously, we have limited police resources. But, when police turn up two weeks later to investigate a shooting incident, that is also a crime.

When we see our cops so enthusiastic after traffic offenders whilst our criminals are on the loose, enjoying immunity, we are entitled to be concerned. Every effort and resource should be put behind solving our serious crime, eg, murder. If not, we will soon earn the title of being the “place to get away with murder”. We don’t need a “police band”. We can have others do that. We need real cops! We need police who are well trained, and capable of investigating adequately, and of solving crime. They must be committed to this cause, and when they fail, they should be replaced with ones who are committed and capable.

Prevention and solving of crime is not a problem only for the cops. It is a problem that the entire society needs to be involved with. The community’s assurance that there is confidentiality with respect to the reporting of evidence needs to be developed rapidly. Internal investigations to weed out corrupt cops cannot be done soon enough. Our cops should not be allowed to work extra hours outside the force. We should try to occupy them within the force if they deserve extra hours of duty. We have extra work to do! There are a lot of unsolved serious crimes.

We must impose a no-tolerance policy on our foreign criminals. One strike and you’re out. Why do we incarcerate, feed and spend money on foreign criminals in our prisons? They should be charged and deported to their homelands never to return to our shores.

Let us get serious about eradicating this scourge and put the necessary resources into this problem. Enough lip service, time for real action in order to prevent future remarks such as, “What a crime!”

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