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Cash-for-gold dealers should be targeted

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Crime, it seems, will always be a thorn in our nation's side, and a major issue for any political party in power. Part of the problem, I think, which fuels and facilitate it is our authorities seemingly lack of foresight in dealing with small issues in their embryonic stage, leaving them to mushroom and spread uncontrollably.

Take for instance the growing trend that is permeating some communities - the business of cash for gold that seems to be sailing below the authorities' radar undetected as an issue of concern. This lucrative venture, which has suddenly become the business of choice for many, if left unchecked and unmonitored, could see desperate and unscrupulous persons seeking to capitalise on it as a potential quick-money earner, resorting to robberies and home invasions to satisfy their appetite for a quick buck.

No proof of ownership

These cash-for-gold dealers do not ask for any proof of ownership or purchase which makes it even easier for an item to be stolen and sold and possibly lost forever without any evidence of its existence.

I am quite sure the police have knowledge of these operations and the potential impact they can have on criminal activities. The persons who engage in these activities are not operating in secrecy. In fact, they operate openly in full view of everyone, in major areas such as Half-Way Tree and in downtown Kingston, displaying cash and armed with small scales, and therefore can be easily monitored. It seems this is not a priority however, and so they are allowed to operate uninhibited.

This myopic approach to dealing with crime is what causes us to be where we are now, in fact they should have learnt valuable lessons from the problems they had and are still having from the effects of the scrap-metal trade.

The authorities need to be proactive if they want to avoid a possible explosive situation, by implementing mechanisms to address these problems immediately, to monitor regulate and sensitise these dealers of their responsibility as it regards the law.

I am, etc.,


Greater Portmore

St Catherine