Crime – Nothing Ever Changes

NOT even the Creole Heritage Month’s climax this weekend, highlighted by Jounen Kweyol tomorrow, will be able to blunt the trauma that our country went through this week.

Three homicides in a single day, the 24th, 25th and 26th for the year, following the grim news earlier in the week of the rape and pregnancy of a 12 year old and the plight of another teenager at Bordelais who was pregnant and imprisoned at age 16, have again raised questions about the general state of this country of ours.

As if this was not enough, we have had reports of something of a gun battle in Beausejour, Gros Islet, Wednesday night although the Police have not issued any report on this incident.

One of the Wednesday night killings took place before ten o’clock in the heart of the city. It shows that nothing has changed, that gun toters still have free rein in our capital. The gruesome nature of that shooting, according to some accounts, is also indicative of the breed of killers in our midst.

There is too much that is wrong with the way this country is being policed. When members of the public try to report criminal activity that is ongoing, and cannot get through to the Police by telephone, as we are told was the case with the Beausejour shooting spree on Wednesday night, we are forced to ask whether we are learning anything from past experiences.

It is time that the authorities—government, the police–stop offering lame excuses and promises about crime fighting and begin to take the kind of decisive action that will deter or stop these criminals altogether. We do not expect the police to be everywhere a crime is taking place but we believe that their visibility, especially on the streets, can mitigate the frequency of people being murdered in public. Round the clock street patrols is still a feature in some Caribbean countries, why not here? At the moment, it appears that it is criminals, not the police, who control our streets.

The brazen nature of most of these killings is another matter of concern, because it gives the impression that the perpetrators belong to the “dark side”. How else can one explain the shooting of someone in the face or the inflicting of multiple wounds with knife or cutlass? If it is a drive-by shooting, then it also means that people are moving about in vehicles at night armed with guns to kill others. What are we doing to stop producing these sadistic killers? Where is our national crime-fighting strategy?

The constant abuse of women is another serious problem. Here again, deterrents can be said to be non existent since many sexual offenders are getting away with it after breaking the law. Sometime ago we heard about “serial rapists” in our country but have any ever been arrested? What about the man who got a juvenile pregnant twice? Above all, why have sex crimes become so prevalent in our country? What is it that is feeding the appetite of our men to commit rape?

The fact of the matter is our society is breeding some serious monsters who are getting more and more confident because our systems are weak, our facilities that can help tie them to their crimes do not exist and above all, our national resolve to bring them to justice, is only half baked.

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