Where are the watchmen?

Dear Editor,

The recent proliferation of crime committed by adolescents is taking a toll on society. Both young women and men are being charged with serious offenses.

Youths barely in their teens commit robbery, murder, and rape, causing mayhem in our communities. The sound of gunshots echoes day and night. Crime and the fear of crime have paralyzed the country.

But the big question goes unanswered. Were we blindsided by this rapid increase in youthful criminal activities, or were there warning signs that we failed to heed? Most juvenile delinquents did not wake up one day and decide to commit criminal offenses.

No! They did not, but just like any habit, crime begins with the first act we fail to harness, and if left unfettered, it will grow until it’s fertile.

Research has found over the years that there are many factors that increases the chances of young people turning to crime. And in most cases, the reasons are right in front of our noses.

The lies, the skipping school, the bullying. And the unexplained Nike and wad of cash and so on.

Unfortunately we, the adults, the gate keepers who are supposed to be the watchman on the wall for our children have fallen asleep.

As kids growing up in East Street, every parent was our parent and could discipline us whenever we got out of line without fear of being attacked by our birth parent.

They were the watchman on the wall and they instilled that in us. But somewhere along the way we were sidetracked, got lost in the melee and fell prey to the glitter; forgetting what we were taught. Now we are paying for it.

We can come up with a million and two reasons/excuses why our children are faced with the many challenges today. And we can say whatever we want; we are just not good watchmen and have fallen asleep at the gate.

Their blood will be on our hands. Both victim and perpetrator.

These are our children. They are our responsibility, not the teacher, pastor, or government.

Youth 15 and 16 years of age with great potential are standing alone without a parent or guardian before the magistrate charged with serious crimes.

These are our children. They’re not just the kid up the road. We are all from the same corner. Our children are their friends. They sleep in our beds and eat out of our pots.

Does it not matter that they might die in the street or spend the rest of their lives in some dungeon?

Recently a 20-year-old was charged with killing a 21-year-old, and shortly afterwards a 16-year-old was charged with four murders.

How much longer will we sleep?

Marvin Gaye had this to say:

“When I look at the world it fills me with sorrow

Little children today are really gonna suffer tomorrow

But let’s live everybody

Live life for the children

Let’s save the children”

Let us become the watchman on the wall for our children.

“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

God bless The Bahamas.


— Anthony Pratt

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