By Drexwell Seymour
Some say there is an atmosphere of fear in this country and so many residents are afraid to speak out and say how they really feel. I am not sure whether or not, that statement is accurate but that is the general feeling of many.
Personally, my greatest fear is the fear of God. Because I fear God, I will not do anything contrary to the word of God despite the temptations. Therefore, the fear of God keeps me on the right path.
Being fearful of things and individuals will cause you not to participate in certain events, discussions or things. Some of us may take risks hoping we will not get caught. On the other hand, many of us are very fearful and will not take the risks to engage in things contrary to the law.
I believe one of the main reasons why there are so many crimes and guns is due to the fact that the criminals are fearless. Therefore, we must create an atmosphere of fear for these criminals.
How to create an atmosphere of fear for criminals?
- We must strengthen the human resources in the police department by recruiting experienced, well-built and matured police officers. The criminals are not afraid of some of the current police officers. They look at some of them as buddies and children.
- We must also ensure that there is a visible presence of police officers throughout all communities in the Turks and Caicos 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. In addition, the officers must provide confidence and trust to the community so that the residents can report the crimes to the police, thus creating fear for the criminals. People are afraid to report crimes and the criminals know that.
- We must deploy undercover cops throughout the country and get adequate information and evidence on these criminals and gangs so they can be prosecuted and sent to jail; this will frighten them.
- Some believe that life in prison is too good for some of the criminals as it is alleged that they have too many privileges including access to a mobile phone. As a result, some of them commit crimes to return to jail. If this is the case, then we must ensure that prison life is a deterrent so criminals will not want to go to prison and hopefully not commit these violent acts.
- We must also strengthen our laws by making the penalties stiffer and longer which should send a strong message to the criminals.
- We must increase our presence at all ports of entry and exit and thoroughly investigate individuals for guns and other weapons. Randomly check homes, vehicles and bars for guns.
- Invest in signage throughout the community about the consequences of committing crimes.
- Use as many police dogs as possible to track down criminals. This should create a lot of fear for criminals.
What if the criminals remain fearless?
While an atmosphere of fear may perhaps alleviate criminals from engaging in criminal activities, there will be some who will remain fearless due to psychological and spiritual issues. This of course will require major intervention such as deliverance, counselling and rehabilitation.
I know there is a cry that we need to find jobs for our people so the crimes can be reduced. I am not convinced that this is the case as there are people who are working and simultaneously committing crimes.
I personally believe if we start fearing God, start fearing the laws of our country and start fearing police officers, it will be the beginning of the resolution and alleviation of crimes in our country.
Finally, if we can spend millions of dollars annually on Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) cases then certainly we should be able spend millions of dollars to create an atmosphere of fear for the criminals, thus providing a safety niche for our residents.