Bahamians must feel that the law is on their side
With an increase in housebreaking taking place throughout the country in various communities, residents are appealing for justice to be served on the perpetrators.
Many Bahamians are expressing a lack of confidence in the justice system, claiming that the law does not protect their rights as citizens. In the cases of housebreaking and stealing, these cries are heard even louder.
The expression “justice denied” has become common place.
While housebreaking and stealing is on the rise, the number of people being placed in jail for these crimes has not increased. What has increased are the number of people being let go on bail for these crimes.
It is this perception of injustice that seems to irate Bahamians, perhaps because the crime of housebreaking is more of an invasive act. People feel as if they have been violated when their home has been the target of a housebreaking.
The idea that someone has been digging through drawers, jewelry boxes, cupboards and personal items, leaves the feeling of an invasion of privacy. That in itself stirs up a lot of emotions among the victims of this crime.
To make matters worse, those who are caught and charged with these crimes are then given a slap on the wrist, given a record and let go on bail, pending a hearing.
Then, to add insult to injury, if the criminal is not in possession of the items stolen, the victims cannot get any compensation for those items stolen. They are told that once the person has gotten rid of the items, there is nothing the law can do.
That criminal is not demanded to make restitution in no shape or form.
If your items have been sold or pawned before the criminal is caught, that is the end of it.
So, not only has a person’s home been broken into, their privacy invaded, their items stolen, the criminal set out on bail, but there is no way of getting any kind of compensation.
It has left residents with a sense of being left alone, with no justice served.
There has to be more convictions, at least there has to be an appearance of justice being served.
It’s not enough for those convicted of these crimes just to get a criminal record and that’s it. Letting these criminals out on bail only leaves them with an opportunity to continue their rampage on other homes and other families.
More has to be done to make Bahamians feel as if the law is on their side and that crime does not pay. As it stands now, they feel as if this is not the case.