Crime is not something that is common to any one country. In some countries it is worse than others. It could be violent, with gunmen taking advantage of ordinary law-abiding citizens; it could be petty thieves making life a misery for people who lock their homes and venture away for one reason or the other only to have an intruder help himself to precious stuff.
It could also be the snatch and run individual who is attracted to a piece of jewellery worn by a person.
The situation is such that people are making political mileage out of the situation. Depending on which side of the political divide one is sitting, the crime situation is either bad, very bad or decreasing.
The police keep reporting that crime is on the decline, and they provide the statistics to show. Of course, it is not a decline in every area; some areas are increasing, like the murders.
Murders are worrying, but because they are mainly confined to disputes, people tend not to worry too much. After all, they are not threatened. But there are the gun crimes committed by roving groups of young men with nothing to do and a burning desire for material things.
Some of these young men are a source of concern. They left school ill-equipped for the real world and with role models who are little better, only older. There was a time when the people who had to worry the most were the wealthy ones. Their wealth was the magnet. These were the people who would keep large sums of paper money in their homes.
Last week, five men targeted a home in which there is supposed to be a safe containing only heavens knows what. How these men knew about the safe is anybody’s guess, but they targeted the home with a violence. They literally crashed a gate and forced their way into the house.
On Friday, news came that the authorities had found a car that had been parked in an area for some time. Inside they found the driver’s licence of one of the men killed during that failed attack on the house with the safe.
There was talk about the car being one of those stolen from someone, but at this time I cannot confirm that report. Suffice it to say that the group had more than one vehicle and opted to use one of the fleet. If indeed it belonged to the now dead bandit, I wonder who would come forward to claim possession.
But there is another side to all this. Five men were killed; post mortem was performed on four because relatives came forward to identify the bodies. But there was one man, although known and his name broadcast, no relative had come forward by Friday.
Was it a case of embarrassment? Is it that the relatives simply cannot afford a funeral so they would rather let things take their natural course?
And that is another issue. Gunmen go after targets and reap large sums of money. But there is often nothing to show. The relatives do not have an enhanced lifestyle. Perhaps everyone adopts the policy of easy come; easy go.
Another criminal act that left me wondering whether the young bunch does not take this whole idea of crime as a pastime. Three or four young men attack a carwash at Bagotstown and proceed to rob the woman there.
Criminals often try to keep their identity from their victims, but in this case the woman knows all of them. Is it that they are now like lower animals that seek only instant gratification? One sees something that one wants and one goes after it, regardless of the obstacles or the consequences.
Two young men confront a 66-year-old man who goes to a bakery. One beats him while another takes his cellular phone and whatever little else he might have had. Certainly it could not have been much, so why risk a lengthy jail sentence or even death for such trifles? It must be that the young criminals are like hyenas, picking at scraps.
But that is what makes them dangerous. They certainly do not have the power of reasoning. These are the people who create the impression that crime is rampant, because they are ever-present.
I know where things went wrong for these young criminals. The parents simply cannot control these children, so the streets gobble them up. Guns appear to be easy to come by. There was a time when the view was that the guns came on the heels of the drug trade. That may be the case, but the drug trade does not seem to be as vibrant as it once was.
There are many gunmen in the prisons and it would seem that as soon as one is removed from the scene, two more appear. Inside the prison there is a breeding ground, so the criminals come out even more schooled in the gun trade.
A policeman is travelling in a minibus and he is attacked and robbed. This would tell me that there is no respect for the law. Should the police respond with violence? I think not, because of the experience we had in the not too distant past. The gunmen retaliated with a violence of their own, killing even the most innocent policeman.
Should the sentences be more severe? All that would do is to keep the criminal off the streets for longer, but one must consider overcrowding.
I have no answer.
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