To say that the island is at the crossroads as far as crime is concerned these days is definitely an understatement. Barely clinging over a precipice might seem a more reasonable description. But we certainly did not get here by accident, though. We got here, in part, by those who are supposed to arrest the situation perennially kicking the can down the road.
Successive administrations have accused each other of politicizing crime, to the extent that they are even comparing crime statistics under their stewardship. Meanwhile, both major political parties seem to find it so hard to sit jointly and come up with a comprehensive plan to combat the scourge.
Clearly, the police are knee-deep in their own challenges to even find the time and resources to adequately address the issue of crime in this country. Internal squabbles about who should be promoted and who should be booted are issues occupying the minds of even those who are committed enough to making a difference in the police force.
However, the police cannot be blamed totally for the abysmal breakdown in security currently plaguing the country. Those whose power comes in the form of ayes in Parliament that dictate how the nation’s purse strings are pulled are as equally guilty of letting what used to be a scab fester into a terminal disease.
With both political parties espousing in manifestos that they are serious about stamping out the growing trend of escalating crime, one wonders why both cannot join forces to at least discuss jointly ways of achieving that goal. After all, shouldn’t national security be a national priority? If criminals can pool their resources to achieve their goals, should not politicians pool their resources to counter those plans?
As frightening as the current crime situation is, it did not happen overnight. So while comparisons will be made regarding, for instance, the homicide rate, which thus far this year is nearly the total figure for last year, the deeper issue is that once law and order seems to become trivialized, people might be prone to become uncivilized.
At least for once, can’t both political parties wake up to the realization that bipartisanship is not a bad word after all? The issue of crime is a serious one that needs a collective approach. Otherwise, the current government’s slow approach in implementing crucial plans to stem the rising levels in crime would have done nothing to ameliorate our predicament. Equally disappointing, too, would be a political party in opposition hiding its great ideas under the bushes in the hope to implement them should they next assume office.