Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Becoming monsters to rein in crime

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM


"It is obvious that the crime monster must be slain if the society is to progress and achieve its 2030 vision." (Observer editorial, July 11, 2016)

"The politicians don't have the guts and courage of leadership to take the tough decisions which they need to make to send a signal to criminals because talk-show hosts, articulate, well-spoken defence attorneys and other human-rights fundamentalists will clobber them if they dare to act decisively and tough." (Ian Boyne, Sunday Gleaner, January 8, 2017)

Can every monster be tamed, or are some best destroyed?

Monsters have been destroying lives and livelihoods, and if not checked, could wipe out entire communities. But who should challenge and confront these monsters in order to capture and tame, and if vitally necessary, destroy them to protect society?

German philosopher Nietzsche informed us that the man who fights, conquers and destroys a monster is capable of becoming a monster himself. But does this mean that no monster should ever be destroyed? And if there are monsters that cannot be tamed or refused to be tamed and are best destroyed, how emboldened will any man feel to challenge and confront a monster, knowing that in the process of this deadly confrontation, if he can only prevail by destroying the monster, he will be regarded also as a monster, and treated as such?

We may destroy some monsters and try to tame others, but can we do so faster than they are being produced? Immediate, medium- and long-term measures need to be deployed simultaneously to effectively reduce crime. Morality, family stability and the core values we impart to the youth are pivotal factors.

Views are many, and naturally, vary widely. Criminals have eliminated thousands! We are all affected and have a role to play. A very delicate and maybe treacherous balance exists in society's effort to confront and combat criminality and a whole host of factors, principles and different interests interact and often counteract each other.

The stances of Government, Opposition, the constabulary, INDECOM, the justice system, prosecutors, defence attorneys, human-rights activists, politicians, church and business leaders, journalists, talk-show hosts and other shapers of public opinions and citizenry often collide regarding the critical issue of criminality, a most unfortunate reality. Who eventually benefits?