We are too lazy to fight crime

August 31, 2018
Yetanya 'Princess' Francis
Latoya Riley grieving for her daughter Yetanya 'Princess' Francis.

Every day in this country, we call on the Government to do something about crime.

When they don't, we block roads and take to social and conventional media to complain.

In the almost 30 years that I have been in journalism, I have seen murders rise from just more than 300 a year to more than 150 each month, and yet, the cries continue.

In response, respective governments have implemented Band-Aid measures to deal with a crime problem that requires major surgery, and that means that the efforts have been largely unsuccessful, while we stand idly by believing that our job is done.

The reality is, we haven't even begun to do anything. The recent murder of the 14-year-old girl in Arnett Gardens is the greatest proof that we are the masters of our own demise.

If the reports I am hearing are true, people heard the girl screaming for help, and no one responded. I suppose they believed it was none of their business. They would be wrong.

Crime can only be solved, as I have said repeatedly in this space, through the collective efforts of the people and the authorities.

We need to stand resolute against criminals because when we yield, it sends the clearest signal that they can act with impunity without any fear of pushback.

This is not the movie Minority Report, where police can predict a crime and work to prevent it. This is real life, where people have to work to rid their communities of criminals who prey on the innocent and make life miserable for all of us.

We need to stop fooling ourselves about this 'informer' narrative and start working towards sending the message that it is not OK to kill, rape, rob, and maim.

We claim that we want a better country. Well, tell you what, you have to work for it. That work means telling the police what you know, and there are many ways to do that without identifying yourself.

What we are is lazy. We want everyone to do things for us that we should be doing for ourselves.

Meanwhile, the little girl's killer is still at large, confident that the people of Arnett are either unwilling or afraid to reveal his identity. That makes him the winner and you, the loser.

If that is what you want, then fine, but you also need to shut the hell up the next time death visits your door.

Why? Because you failed to do your part to make your own community safer for everyone.

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