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Biography - F.A. Baron
Freedom to be Greedy
Farewell & Welcome
DA Response to Grenada
And, We were Misled
Local vs Privy Council
Thank You Dame Eugenia
Big Bad John
Travels and Travails
Trade Gap - USA & DA
In Case You Missed It
".. Your Love to Town"
Mad Men not to be trusted
Politics of Lies & Deception
Wide, Deep Transparency
Petrocaribe $ Bird Island
Nations Shall War No more
My Feeling of Insecurity
China, Admiration & Envy
Capitalism: Wounded ...
© Gordon Moreau
MY BASIC FEELING OF INSECURITY
June 17, 2007 - It is the type of short story to which you could append a disclaimer: Once upon a time discussions took place in living rooms, bedrooms, on the bus, in the rum shop, and in the cultivated patches, of frightening happenings in the security system in a micro country. True as those rumours might have been, any resemblance here to real people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.
Yet what is described in the following paragraphs is authentic. After all, I have no reason to ridicule the Police, even if I was at the other end of the very worst efforts of a few of them:
Yet, when they put forward their glorious worst, we need to tell them so, and to urge the authorities to provide the tools for them to improve. We must do so with understanding; not with an attitude that could tend to discourage them or cause them to withdraw their enthusiasm.
Several years ago a thief broke into our Hanover Street office, ransacking and searching for what he did not put. The Police came in the morning. One of them carried what seemed primitive and rudimentary tools with which he set about "taking finger-prints."
Trying to assist, I pointed at a tray saying that the thief appeared to have shifted it from one place to the next and searched it. I ventured to advise that that object seemed a good candidate from which to draw finger-prints. The Policeman took up the object with his bare hands and proceeded to pretend he was taking finger-prints.
I later learned that the Police had for years NOT depended on finger printing to convict anyone.
I was privileged to be a newspaper columnist at that time; but for reasons which I have hinted above, I chose not to go down that street. In any event, there are sufficient mad people who believe that the only way to remedy all issues is to take to the media. Nonetheless, I did something about it.
I did not know the names of the police officers involved; neither was that important. The late Pierre Charles, Prime Minister, had responsibility for national security. I saw a little opening to mention that matter to him at break-time during a consultation at Layou River Hotel.
Even when the IMF/World Bank were enforcing "structural adjustments," the international community must understand that we cannot afford not to afford basic tools and equipment needed for the Police to ensure security. I believed, I told the P.M., that we could, with impunity, breach the austerity measures to buy some security. Or the international community could itself provide the funding.
A little later some burglar entered my premises at Fortune which doubled as office and home. The Police came as they did before. One of them was trained enough and understanding enough to sympathize with me: He said he did not know how he would react if he came home and met his house in that condition.
I cannot recall if the finger-printing simulation or masquerade took place. I know that I looked in all the rooms and in my own hand-writing I gave them a list of the articles that were obviously missing.
A couple of days later one of my staff members reminded me that at least some of the missing things must have been insured (with First Domestic). I approached the insurers. They requested a list of the stolen items. I went to Headquarters. I asked for a copy of the list that I myself had given them.
I never received that copy. One Police officer asked me kindly not to put it in the newspaper… The Police had lost the list!!! I never felt more insecure in my life.
I kept it from the media until now that we face this phenomenon: not long ago it was reported that in the last five murder trials the accused all walked. So that, whoever did the crimes, there are several killers walking the streets.
A few years ago calypsonian "Designer" sang that when a murderer is set free, we should hang the lawyer who assisted to free him. I cannot go down the Designer road. But I believe, should the trend continue here, some good citizens will begin to think, "I will have none of your law…I shall have none of your justice…"
One of the few successful business ventures during the past say 15 years has been the security business. This tells us that during the same period crime increased. Fifteen years ago you might have built your house without burglar proofing. But since that time, you must increase your building cost by that additional 5 % or so, to put in that security against burglary.
In a democratic society it is fair to ask, "What is the Police doing about it? What is the Government doing about it?" Above all, what are YOU doing about it? What can we ourselves do to resolve the problem? This is our society. If the police are us, the criminals are us.