Letters & Opinion

We need more than just political change…

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

It is evident that the messages against criminal behavior need to become more widespread. Based on the number of murders and now theft by masked robbers, something serious has to be done to deal with this worsening situation.

For me, the judicial system, the police, as well as the educational system, have to do more to make their presence felt and it cannot be business as usual. We have to begin to assess cause and effect, analyze the reason why there is such an upsurge in criminal behavior and what measures have to be implemented to curb that scourge.

The State must find a remedy. We must find a strategy. And laws and fines, apprehension and conviction have to be more realistic. The level of detection, the bringing of the guilty to the courts, as well as assisting the victims to get justice, must become of prime importance.

I have said in several articles in the past that it is not enough to just hire people to do a job and they fail to give results, or make progressive moves to satisfy the public that they are doing an excellent job. We cannot continue to pretend the system is efficient and working. There are many things wrong with the operation and existing methods used by our existing establishments.

In the same way that we are forced to adopt to modern day trends when it comes to technological education and its uses, we have to consider too that new methods and modules have to be put in place to outwit or deter the criminals.

One has to be made to think about the consequences of one’s actions: if you can do the crime, you must also be prepared to do the time. It is said that having a gun that is not licensed is an offence against the law, so if one is found with weapon or ammunition the fines or penalties have to be rigid and the jail sentence has to be multiplied. The police have to introduce surveillance and regular searches, not only of vehicles but also in homes and communities. There must be Day Courts and Night Courts and the law must deliver justice in a speedy way and not sit back and make excuses.

The new Government of the Day has to put policies in place, adopt a no-nonsense approach to criminals both in the ghetto and at the white collar levels and must remain aware that we the electors need the actions we voted for, to be taken against crime and criminals, since crime seems to be the order for the day.

We have to become real and no one should be above the law, no one should be shielded or pay to avoid the penalty of the law.

For meaningful change to take place in this country the state must change its mindset and start to deal with the problem in the same way they have recently dealt with the Covid pandemic.

I believe that we are the cause for the breakdown in law. We have turned our eyes too often and pretended that we don’t know or care about what is going on. Justice must be for all and information that is given to the police should not be leaked out to make the information source a suspect thus endangering his or life.

We pay taxes and the taxes pay salaries, so we should demand value for our money and as born Saint Lucians national we demand a better deal, because we all need to feel that the Law is just and the authorities are doing their Job.

The slow pace of justice has to change and efficiency has to become the new norm. We need more than only political change, as we also need an attitude-change as well.

And finally, we should not encourage others — especially the young male population — to commit acts of violence.

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