CRIME PREVENTING MEASURES
Dear Mr. Editor,
I refer to your editorial on today’s date captioned ‘Crime and Response’ in which I support your view. However, the problem of crime, not only in Guyana but throughout the region, stem from the lack of implementation of the three basic crime prevention measures- namely situational, social and tertiary crime prevention. I agree with you that the police, not only in Guyana, appear to be lost in detecting, preventing and solving violent crime especially drug related. The upsurge of crime can be reduced through the implementation of the three crime prevention measures I mentioned earlier. However, it is important that these measures must work together in order to be successful.
The force must have the necessary resources at its disposal to deal with the increase in the drug trade. The state must make resources available to the police to have the necessary tools to prevent and detect the persons who are involved in the drug trade. It is important from a situational crime prevention strategy that what is needed is personnel, equipment and training. From the social side, we need the help of the business community in sponsoring various social programs in educating persons about the dangers of drugs. Furthermore, creating employment for the unemployed. Finally, the courts have their role to play in reducing not only the drug trade but in reducing crime on a whole.
As you correctly stated, the increase in drugs appears that the drug lords find Guyana a very soft target. They see security loop holes in which they took advantage of the weakness to pass the drugs through undetected. It is important for the two security agencies, the police which control Immigration and Customs, to share information. I would suggest that what is needed is for personnel from the two agencies be housed under one roof the do intelligence gathering and any information received can be passed on to the appropriate department for action. Finally, we need the assistance of our neighbours in the region and may be beyond to assist with the necessary intelligence.
The courts are overwhelmed with the number of cases that have to be adjudicated. However, we must not shower any blame on our legal system. There is a shortage in the number of judicial personnel to adjudicate court matters. This must be remedied quickly in order that persons who are brought before the court may be disposed of as quickly as possible in preventing the case from becoming stale which will lead to a disinterest in the virtual complainant. Tertiary crime prevention is the function of the court where they dispose justice according to the crime. However, they cannot function if the laws are archaic.
I agree with you that offenders who are remanded for a very long time before their cases are heard usually learn from other prisoners how to improve their skills in respect to crime. However, it’s the duty of the courts to ensure that justice is served.
The ‘social rehabilitation’ response to violence from criminologist, psychologist and sociologist - who theorise on crime are of the view that the social fabric of society is the cause of crime and they hold fast to certain social theories which they believe are the causes of crime. They have suggested many social remedies which they believe can reduce crime.
Social crime prevention does assist in crime prevention. However, for it to be successful companies need to do more within the community in which they operate. This could be in the form of sponsoring sports programmes, assisting the community in projects and granting scholarships to youths. The business community must embrace the community and be cognizant of its needs.
If the three crime prevention measures are working together, we will definitely see a reduction in
crime. I must stress that crime will always be with us, we cannot totally eradicate it.