They even stole and sold the babies’ clothes

Dear Editor,

Having been a victim of violent crime myself, I believe I can speak to what the victims of crimes go through. Several years ago I was held up by two gun-toting, very young men who relieved me of my money, watch and jewelry; gun butted me (leading to six stitches) and told me to run. They didn’t have to tell me twice. While taking my report the policeman said to me “You were attacked by two criminals.” Up until then, because I never had the word criminal spoken to me in a sentence, chills ran through my entire body.

Thankfully I’ve never had that experience again, but it’s something I will never forget. So I know the terror of having a gun shoved in your face. According to the Bible, the first murder was committed when there were only four people on the Earth and farming and hunting was all they knew. As the world turned, crime became prevalent; more people, more things and an increase in crime. Back when Nassau was on the rise, doors were never locked and were only closed to keep the rain and cold out. Being disobedient to your elders could get you in some serious trouble. Police constables’ jobs for the greater part was to walk through the neighborhood making sure everyone was behaving, your bicycle was licensed and had lights. Every now and then a fight would break out or some petty, semi-serious crime was committed and the senior officers would have to step in and, depending on the incident, either book the perpetrator on the spot or tell him to meet them at the police station. And then boom, we became prosperous. We started having more of everything, more hotels, more casinos more this and more that. A change in lifestyle.

Unfortunately, with prosperity came a higher crime rate. Successive governments have witnessed crime grow from when there were hardly any murders to someone being killed every other day. Stealing apples from Mr. Brice’s fruits stand was big news, but now there are several armed robberies every day. Shameful housebreaking and attacks on vulnerable women has hit an all-time high. There are people who don’t want to work, that make a living by breaking into other people’s homes and robbing defenseless women on the streets, while terrorizing their own neighborhoods. They are stealing from people who are making sacrifices to provide for their families. A single mother of two after working two jobs returns to her home that’s been broken into (security bars and all), ransacked with all of her property stolen, everything gone and they even thief the babies’ food and clothes. Sadly, in fear of retaliation she remains silent. What is most disheartening is that there is a fence in the hood who buys everything.

Cowardly young men holding a gun to a petrified woman’s head drive off with her cash and car, leaving her stranded on the streets. All of these things did not happen overnight. They slowly evolved to where we are today. Last year crime was down for the first time in years. Were we fooled by the lull and celebrated our short-lived victory too soon, while the criminals were playing possum waiting for us to let our guards down? Lesson learned, never sleep on the criminals because they don’t. None of us have the answer to dealing with crime and I agree with Minister of National Security Marvin Dames that the best defense to crime is vigilance at all times. Hopefully the minister would retrace his steps to last year, not miss a beat and just do what he did then. It worked. Only this time he shouldn’t take his foot off the pedal. Throughout it all I still believe you are doing the best you can. Post-Dorian we are in for a long haul and while it is widely speculated that the recent spate of crimes are being committed by some of Dorian’s victims, we should not be so quick to judge, because the professional criminals were only waiting for an opportunity such as this. Last weekend we were quite impressed by what we saw on the streets. Officers were out everywhere in full force, but remember, crooks don’t normally operate in high traffic areas or during the day.

– Anthony Pratt

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