Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Who is to be blamed?

Published:Saturday | December 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

With the upsurge in crime, it is of extreme importance that we as citizens do not jump ahead of ourselves and blame one particular political party. As humans, we like to assign blame to someone or something. But, who is to be blamed? Should we blame the present Government for allowing crime to get out of control? Or do we blame politics in general? Do we as citizens bear equal responsibility for the rate of crime?

For years, we have been told what the causes of crime are (poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, etc). But what has the Government done to alleviate such factors? Yes, they might have implemented various work programmes and partnered with various NGOs to lessen rates of poverty and illiteracy, but they themselves have proven to be ineffective.

There has been advocacy for the reform of the criminal justice system, taking into consideration all its pillars (the police, the courts and corrections). It, however, seems as if more 'important' things have taken precedence. We recently received news of the impending resignation of the commissioner of police. Many have been wondering why he is stepping down. The saying, 'If yuh cyaa tek di heat, stay outta di kitchen,' should not apply in this scenario, because if we continue to run away, the problem will never be solved.

I see the causes of crime being more than economic. We ought to be more serious about mental health as it is impossible for right-thinking individuals to be raping and murdering babies and senior citizens.

Putting aside all biases, it is essential that we collectively find the causative factors and work on them accordingly. If the Government fails to address such issues, then the blame ought to be pinned on it. It would have failed to protect the nation it was sworn to protect. If we as citizens we fail to report crimes and continue to aid criminals, then we ought to be blamed.

For now, let us quit the blame game. Let us focus on the issue at hand and work together to tackle this cancer called crime. After all, the country should not be left solely in the hands of politicians. We the citizens must play our part.

Yanique Mendez