08 May, 2007

Crime 2

The Impact of Crime. We are looking at a recently published World Bank report on the impact of crime in the West Indies. It is titled “Crime, Violence and Development: Trends, Costs and Policy Options in the Caribbean”. It was published on-line on 3 March. It can be read or downloaded by clicking here.

This report is very important for us in Anguilla. It provides guidance for those who care and have control. The Governor should not just be reading it. He should be taking it to bed with him in the evenings. He should be giving the Commissioner of Police tests on its contents at every meeting. He should be demanding of Ministers to know what their response is to its recommendations. The report is deadly accurate where Anguilla is concerned.

The report reminds us that our West Indian countries are transit points for cocaine. No doubt, there needs to be strategies outside the region. Demand for addictive drugs in consumer countries has to be reduced if we are to get any relief. There also has to be improved interdiction in our islands. Take the case of Anguilla. Our economy is fueled by cocaine. We have a cocaine-based economy. The first thing that up to fifty percent of all tourists do when they finish checking in is to go to the head barman or concierge and enquire where they can get cocaine. You don’t believe me? Ask any hotel barman for yourself. Where the demand is so high, the supply will inevitably follow. Any person in the industry who tells you otherwise is either a user or a supplier, or just naive.

Gun ownership is an outgrowth of the drug trade. We need a better registration system, as well as better interdiction in ports.

More importantly, the report recommends that policies should focus on providing meaningful alternatives for youth. That does not mean building expensive community centers. It means parents spending more quality time with their children. It means our society contributing more resources for youth organisations and activities. It means government providing better education on social issues for our children. No measure to eradicate political corruption would be more useful and less expensive than putting resources into developing ethics and good governance courses in our schools for the very young. That means in primary schools as well as in secondary ones.

Does no one in Anguilla care?


  1. It should be obvious to you that almost nobody but a few intellectuals and foreigners care.This is why the situation has gotten this bad. Something will only be done when some high profile tourists are gunned down or some innocent children bystanders are killed.

  2. Elaine Philip was thought to be an innocent bystander when she was gunned down. The only thing that was done was the Commissioner wrote some drivel about how British police officers interfere with his authority, and had someone post it as a comment to this blog. Speeches and press conferences telling us how open and accountable they are doesn't qualify as actually "doing something."

    I thus disagree with the writer above. I don't think anythng effective will actually be done until the overall Anguillian economy is visibly harmed by the crime problem.

  3. To post one " nobody but a few intellectuals and foreigners care"

    Eh, come again? I am neither and Don's blog is my home page.
    Anguillians care, every normal thinking person cares.
    Heartbeat news that comes from all five households in my yard each morning at 6.30,they seem to be taking Don's blog as a press release from the public. So we do not even have to own a PC or have time/energy to read. It has sunk in already, we care and worry and try.
    So post one, give Don half a chance, big him up, keep him going, don't put him down.
    We care and we need Don's voice like rain.

  4. The central issue is not whether you and I care but whether those who have the authority to change things care.

    A lot of accusations have been made against the police. The Commissioner is defensive and the Governor is silent. Many people, both in and out of the department, believe the Commissioner is the problem. If that is true, it is unrealistic for us to look to him for solutions.

    That leaves the Governor. You weren't sent here just to play dress-up on the Queen's Birthday, Your Excellency. When are you going to start showing some leadership?

    The people want to know.


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