Violent Crime -- Who Is to Blame?
Violent Crime -- Who Is to Blame?
In the wake of the unacceptable level of homicides and the barefacedness in which they are committed, especially within recent years, the fear of crime has escalated. Unfortunately, the blaming game or finger pointing has also increased --within recent weeks. Almost daily, there is the pointing of the proverbial finger at someone or institution for the spike in violent crime- be it the judiciary, government, police, church, parents, or others. However, blaming does not solve crime, as it tends to spotlight one or two segments and exonerates everybody else, even the one doing the blaming. If we are to arrest or minimize violent crime, it will require that we cease the finger pointing and assume individual responsibility. Fighting crime calls for a comprehensive approach.
Crime Is Complex
I agree with a regular columnist in one the news dailies, Front Porch Simon (though I am not sure I know the writer). In this weekly column dated Thursday, January 2, 2014, it states, “Crime is complex in its causes and the responses, requiring action by many parts of society.” So true! The home/parents, judiciary, church, government/politicians, law enforcement agencies, the media, civic groups, school, talk shows, citizens and others must all weigh in to make a meaningful and recognizable dent to crime. Instead of advocating a fragmented approach by highlighting one’s approach and downplaying another’s point of view, we need to see value in each. There is no magical formula, but networking I feel will yield positive result.
Failing to See Value in Other Approaches
Some individuals resent marches and rallies, because they do not see their effectiveness. Does it make them ineffective and useless in the war against crime? I do not think so. In fact, I am inclined to believe that they are effective and as a result should be included. Likewise, prayer has its place. Prayer does work and has worked for untold numbers of persons, even for those who fail to pray. The Apostle James wrote, “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Now to a non-churchgoer that does not make sense, but it has its role. A greater police presence inclusive of more police cars –one positioned on each block or corner of known hot spots, is likely to make residents feel safe and reduce crime. Likewise, the presence of CCTVs at strategic locations must also be embraced in tackling the ugly nature of crime. Swift justice on the part of the courts is absolutely necessary. Neighborhood watches must also factor in the plan; and radio talk hosts as well as the media must play a role. Governments must ensure that the laws are carried out and be willing to make tough decisions, even at the disliking of some citizens or even supporters, as long as the decisions stand to benefit the country as a whole, especially in combating crime and the fear of it.
Having pointed out the value of the above and by implication those of others not mentioned, each of these must play its part; for crime is complex as already noted, and any approach must take that into consideration. To focus on a part or segment of the solution would prove deficient. Each contribution must be considered as a part of the crime fighting equation. And so, the dialogue started by the Ministry of National Security must continue and followed up by implementation. Answers are there but will only be found and embraced when we approach crime fighting objectively and openly, devoid of personal biases. Crime reduction calls for all hands on deck.