Over the last year-and-a-half, lots of money were spent and much effort put into softening the blow that the Coronavirus has dished-out on St. Lucians, but there is another virus crippling the country known as Criminality and less effort is placed on reducing that scourge.
If there is no action or attention paid to common certain ills, then worse will continue.
Of late, the high spate of theft is becoming a new norm as criminals take it for granted that we do not have a stop cork for their actions, so they do as they please — and will take their chances, knowing that law enforcement is not the state’s priority.
Murders and theft are on the rise and so is child abuse and abuses of all types — and in most cases justice is not being served. We have to come to the realization that we have several negative actions and situations that need to be put on the front burner.
We have an economic crisis and a health crisis, but we also have a crime crisis and equally all need to be considered as crucial and top priorities. But the Mister Nice Guy approach and comments like “People steal because things are bad” or, if you are associated with government or have friends in high places you can get away with murder. But all these are false premises on which to govern a Country.
We have to get firm in our resolve, to take the Bulls by the Horns and make examples of all who transgress the Law. Civilization is dependent on laws, which, if not enforced chaos will be the result. I believe the people watch the crimes committed at the top (what we call “white collar crime”) and since almost nobody in that ilk ever gets arrested, jailed, or made to pay for their actions, they feel they too are free to create a form of local criminal terrorism because crime usually goes unpunished. The police, the justice system, the government, as well as civil society groups, all need to get into a conversation.
We need to find solutions and not just talk issues without resolving. Enforcement is vital, but across the board. You cannot continue to have one sector of the society being blamed for all atrocities and some in another grouping feeling free to rip-off, or obtain things through other means and use their money to avoid incarceration. The law has to be applied to all and examples have to become the new order of the day.
You have often heard the term “living by example”, but if you must enforce the law at the lower scale, you must enforce it at the highest levels too. No one should be above the law and transparency and accountability have to become the new mantra for this administration.
I, and nearly all others, want to see change at all levels. Those who do not perform to install new values and change the manner of doing things at their institutions must go too — in other words be replaced. In my book, no Job should be secured, it has to be about performance. Too many people are under-performing, some are qualified, most do not get results or impact positively.
A new St. Lucia, to me, means a new mentality and not just the changing of the guards. And we must stop favouring people by their name or their social status and treat every citizen the same, just like we treat every voter at elections time. The new change offers an opportunity for a new beginning, even with COVID and Crime like it is, we cannot afford to give up. So let us make a fresh start by actually starting to do something about the things we like to talk about when everybody is complaining without offering one word on how to make things better.