Editorial: Turning back the hands of crime

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Whoa! Wait! Hold on! Masked gunmen abductors? What is going on in our bit of paradise? Where are we heading when two people can be abducted from a public beach and taken on a joyride of thievery and fear?
In case you missed it, the police reported that a young woman picked up her boyfriend and headed to  Runaway Beach. Sometime after 10 p.m., two masked men approached and forced them into a silver Grand Vitara SUV. The hands of the man were restrained by duct tape, and he was thrown into the trunk while his female companion was placed in the rear seat.   
Apparently, the kidnappers drove to the man’s home and stole his vehicle and his wallet. They then drove the victims, in separate vehicles, to a remote location in Freetown where they were abandoned but not before they were relieved of their cellphones. Both vehicles were stolen.
Luckily for the couple, they were able to free themselves from their restraints, found a person willing to help, and the police were alerted. The SUV was later discovered not too far from where they were kicked-out.
The police are investigating the entire situation, but this is extremely scary stuff. True, any violent crime is scary, but to be abducted at the hands of masked gunmen and taken on a ride of terror is, well, terrorism. Is this what we have come to?
Naturally, the police have issued a warning to the general public and have advised us to avoid remote areas, especially dimly lit areas, late at night. Persons over a certain age must be shaking their heads when they think of all the fun times they had going to the beach with friends or a loved one late at night. Sometimes, the less light the better.  
We know that we may be sounding like the old fuddy-duddy grandpa or motherly grandmother who thinks that ‘the world has gone to the dogs,’ but if this type of crime persists, then hasn’t it? Cultural pastimes like crabbing will soon be a thing of the past.  Evening beach limes with friends will require the engagement of a security company for protection. And the romance of a moonlit ‘Lovers Lane’ tryst will soon be lost to the efforts of the masked gunman. Sad!
We accept the criticism from a section of the people: They who think that when we lament the increase in crime, and the types of violent crime that have become more prevalent in our society, that we are anchored in the past and do not want to change. To that we say, yes! We do not want change when it comes to these issues of personal security.
We do not want to have to give up so many of the things that make our fair island paradise, just because times and crimes are changing. We do not accept that crime should win over the traditionally peaceful and fun-loving environment that we have cultivated and enjoyed in our youth, and still hope to today. Why shouldn’t our children experience those same joys? Why should we embrace crime as a natural evolution of our society? We say no! And we hope that everyone will join us in this cry for justice and the desire for the hands of time to be turned back on the scourge of crime.
Of course, using the critics’ reasoning, the march of crime will continue with time, and one day it will win over our protests. They suggest that our lamentation over ‘the good old days’ is a waste of time, since this is how the world is going.  
Again, this is a sad point of view for obviously defeated and pessimistic minds. Trying to belittle our argument that there is more that we can, and must, do against crime by sarcastically saying we can go back to a time when there was no gun crime because there were no guns is not helping the situation. So we say to those so willing to accept violent crime as a part of our evolution, if you are not willing to help, get out of the way of those who are.
The time has long past for us to reject these types of violent crimes and do so as a united community. Crime is not a political thing, and the solution could not be either. When you call for help, do you care about the political persuasion of the person who responds to your call? Do you expect that your neighbour will ignore your home when it is being invaded because he or she drinks a different colour Kool-Aid? And probably most importantly, do you think that these masked terrorists check your political background before they attack? The single answer to all of these questions is NO. So, let us not play politics with crime and the solutions to crime. Let us come together as one and reject this violent creep into our society.
United we will succeed.

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