Cash-for-gold owners must do right thing
WHEN THE POLICE FORCE issued a warning last week cautioning people about wearing their gold jewellery in public, we knew the country had a crisis. The violent theft of people’s precious items has no longer become the odd bit of criminality, but a brazen regular occurrence. It is a situation which cannot be allowed to get any further out of hand.
To their credit, the police led by Commissioner Darwin Dottin, have consistently warned of the danger in the cash-for-gold business pointing to the unsavoury characters it attracts. It is clear that legislation alone, the Precious Metals And Second Hand Metals Act, cannot control the situation. The criminal elements most certainly are not bothered about laws but rather focus on circumventing any roadblocks in their procurement and disposal of ill-gotten gains.
We appreciate the police’s judgment and recommendation that people should desist from wearing their gold jewellery in public, but also acknowledge that this could be a difficult call for all citizens to abide by on every occasion.
It also raises additional concerns for those who own substantial quantities of gold jewellery but do not have the means and measures to safeguard these valuables. The obvious query is if this upsurge in criminality will make our homes as well as private events and public places where we do business or socialize, the new targets for these thieves.
This situation in which we now find ourselves is untenable for a number of reasons. Our personal safety may be at risk, while the country’s good name is being tarnished. As a country which is very dependent on tourism, and one which reaches out to the wealthy to make it their island paradise, this is a most unwelcome development. It is the kind of development which will no doubt be monitored very closed by consulates operating here.
This upsurge in illegal activity in the cash-for-gold trade can also impact negatively on commerce and industry. There are many honest and legitimate businesses selling gold items and also in the business of repairs which cannot be expected to stop their trade. In this regard many jobs can be put at risk and livelihoods negatively impacted.
The owners of the cash-for-gold establishments must recognize that they have a social responsibility to the wider society and must therefore do what is right and decent at all times. They must not gain from the pain others suffer. This situation places an enormous responsibility on the police as they serve to protect the country; they must be relentless in the pursuit of the criminals.