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AS I SEE THINGS: Fighting crime our job too

Dr Brian Francis

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WHETHER THROUGH TELEVISION or in the newspapers, we in Barbados – like the rest of the world – have been seeing various acts of violence against unsuspecting civilians around the globe who just happen to be in the right place at the wrong time.
From Somalia to the United States, the world has witnessed unspeakable acts of terrorism that have taken the lives of thousands of blameless victims. 
As these loathsome acts unfold, many of us can only wonder whether these events could eventually occur in our own backyards. Sadly, we in Barbados no longer have to look beyond our borders to find an answer to this proposition. 
The September 3 event was a sobering reminder of the pain and suffering that can be brought to bear on families and friends by a gruesome crime that is relatively new in the criminal profile of this beautiful country.
The robbery and firebombing of a business in Bridgetown and loss of six lives will certainly go down as one of the most vicious acts of violence against the people of this country, and we can now only hope the heartless criminals are captured soon and brought to justice.
No stone unturned
As the country continues to mourn the unfortunate passing of the six young women, every effort must be made to prevent crimes of this nature. The police have already signalled their intention to leave no stone unturned in their quest to apprehend the perpetrators of this violent episode.
Government has also committed all the necessary resources to allow the police to deal with this matter and consequently bring some closure to families and friends of the victims.
What about us as individuals? Are we prepared to do all in our power to protect not only ourselves but others from unwarranted attacks by those bent on terrorising society? 
I certainly will never advocate violence as a response to dealing with violence. However, as a society we have to accept that fighting crime cannot be the responsibility of the Government and police alone. We as responsible citizens have to come together and take action on several fronts to lower the probability of crimes against society.
Protect investment
Businesses, too, must fight back against criminals to ensure that the investment they make in human, physical and financial resources is well protected.
All business entities in this country should take a harder look at their security and emergency apparatus and immediately put systems in place to ensure two things: first, to make it more difficult for criminals to attack their businesses and succeed.
Second, if their businesses are subjected to intrusion by criminals, that sufficient information will be gathered and made available to the police to allow them to capture the criminals faster.
Criminal activity is a societal problem because it hurts everyone and everything, including our growth and development. For this reason we all must join the fight against crime and criminals. If we do not, the criminals win.
And that certainly is not a cost we can afford.