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Let’s deal with the miscreants


DR MOZAH MAHANAIM

Let’s deal with the miscreants

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AS A BARBADIAN CITIZEN living abroad, I am concerned by the reports of the level of gun violence pervading the island.

Time is propitious that the “brass of the police force” address the nation on a proactive response to the level of criminal activity. This problem cannot be allowed to proliferate to the extent that it exhibits a social stigma. The police force is mandated with the responsibility of ensuring the relative safety of all Barbadians.

First and foremost, blocks do not exist in Barbados and are not part of our culture. Let us be clear on this and refrain from the usage of this foreign word in our vernacular. We do not live in towns or cities; we live in villages, otherwise known as districts. Let’s respect ourselves and be proud (always) of our culture. 

Law enforcement involves law-abiding civilians as well. If you know or see something, call the police. There needs to be a proactive and not reactive resolve to curb gun violence and criminal activities as a whole within our society.

There are several clubs operating in the midst of residential districts, and some are known to play loud music into the wee hours of the morning. Several issues arise from this problem:

1) Residents incur sleepless nights whenever these clubs are in operation.

2) Some of these partygoers carry illegal guns.

3) There is the need to shut down these clubs and have them relocated.  

4) The police should commit to a policy of stop, search and seize.

The police force is the gatekeeper of law and order. Barbados is a tiny island-state – for those who think otherwise – with a population of about 285 000 people. This is the equivalent of the total lives lost in the Asian tsunami of 2004. Let’s be cognisant of these facts.

Let’s give the police the tools to stop, search and seize. Let’s not allow this sore to fester in our society, as is witnessed in other Caribbean countries. 

No doubt crime and lawlessness have increased over the years. There is the need to carry out village operations assisted by the defence force where police manpower is lacking. The stigma of lawlessness must be curtailed from our communities and our island.

Honour your parents; respect your elders; respect your community; respect your country; look upon yourselves as countrymen and not strangers or enemies.

Let not the surfeit of crime bring our nation to a level of uncharacteristic and unprecedented shame. When I visited Barbados for its 50th year of Independence celebrations in 2016, some of my relatives cautioned me against staying out too late – after 9 p.m. They informed me that Barbados had changed a lot, where crime was concerned.

In this 21st century of industrialisation and technology, you can be anything you want to be; knowledge is ubiquitous. Computers and cellphones validate this fact. You can be whatever you want to be. Who do you want to be? 

To the perpetrators of crime, ask yourself what is your purpose here on earth. Is it to perpetrate lawlessness? Is it to smoke weed? Is it to cause disharmony within your communities? Or, is it to respect your foreparents who toiled so hard, who sacrificed so much in decades gone to allow you to experience the current social amenities at your disposal? Do you care, even a little bit?

Time is long overdue that we give these social miscreants a kick in the buttocks. Let’s send these village bullies and neighbourhood tyrants scampering.

– DR MOZAH MAHANAIM

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