Our politicians must think they are converted architects of the world-renowned Shock Doctrine. Politicians on both the Government and Opposition side – since they either do not know or do not want to discuss what is really needed to combat serious crime and criminality in this country – are now saying it may have to take the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens such as freedom of movement and assembly, etc to be violated in order to fight serious crime.
NOW HOLD UP:
#1 – Our rights to life, liberty and freedom particularly in Nassau are already being impinged by the fear of crime. Many of us already live in prisons of burglar bars and terror behind the doors of our own homes. So now law-abiding citizens need to be treated like the criminals causing the problems in order to deal with the criminals? All of us have Constitutional protections against authorities taking certain actions against us without due cause or process. The authorities know exactly who the country’s career criminals are and where they are. They don’t need to violate us to find them. They also know who some of these criminals are connected to – which brings me to point #2.
#2 – Were it not for corruption, political interference, systemic problems within the ranks of our uniformed branches and hang-ups of various kinds in the judicial system, many people who ought to be behind bars right now would be behind bars. Don’t seek to punish the public for what those with authority and power are either failing to do or are making sure does not get done. We are being punished enough by the scourge of crime. Too many criminals have too many “friends” in high places that are ensuring their reign of terror continues unabated.
Always be careful of politicians when you see them using occasions of fear or confusion to convince you to give up your Constitutional and legal rights. That is how democracies turn into something else.
#3 – Such violations tend to disproportionately happen to people who are poor or in lower or “unconnected” social classes in society – the citizens who already suffer the most without viable recourse. Do you really think the political class or the so-called “elite” would be subject to such violation of their rights in the so-called crime fight? No. It would be you and I who are violated, left at the mercy of subjective whims of officials armed and licensed to do harm and kill.
#4 – Most serious crime charges end in either court acquittals or the case being thrown out. So yes, people are being arrested, but the cases against them are failing to withstand judicial scrutiny. This has been attributed to factors such as inadequate police investigations, inadequate prosecution cases and witnesses who fear testifying due to witness intimidation or worse. The government knows the state of our Police Lab and what it has or has not done to fund necessary improvements. The Force knows its interrogation and investigatory tactics and how they do or don’t translate into sound admissible evidence. The government and the Judiciary know the issues with respect to Public Prosecutions. The problems are known. But instead of buckling down, taking the political blows and doing what is necessary, they want to take the cowardly way out by trying to make the citizenry guinea pigs to give the appearance that they are cracking down on crime.
#5 – Criminals are getting slaps on the wrists for their offenses once convicted. The maximum sentence for most sexual crimes for instance, is life in prison. But we see what kind of sentences convicted sex offenders get in this country for some of the most heinous sexual crimes against minors as well as adults. We see how gun conviction sentences are being handled now. And with so many alleged criminals being granted unexplained Nolle Prosequis by the AG’s Office – how do you expect criminals to take the risk of arrest seriously? The AG has the power to appeal the granting of bail to those charged with serious offenses, and that appeal, once launched, keeps the accused behind bars until the appeal is dispensed with by the Appellate Court. How many people has the AG deemed necessary to try to keep off the streets as opposed to the amount put back on the streets through actions like Nolles?
Yes, it is absolutely true that we all play a role in the state of our society. But that does not make the Government & Judiciary’s role any less vital. Don’t come at us with foolery about violating our rights. Get your hands dirty with hard work, get unpopular with the criminal element, get in Parliament and pass stiff laws instead of passing the time and passing political gas – and do your jobs.
As for the Opposition, the role of Shadow Ministers in the Westminster System is not only to call out the wrongs, but also to propose solutions. We already know the Government has proven to be a failure in its promises about crime. Now, what are your proposed solutions? You build a reputation based on what you do now, not on what you want us to believe you might do. Give us something to believe in besides stating the obvious. Be the alternative government you have been elected to be. Crime is everybody’s business. When any pillar of society fails in how we shape the minds of our people, we all suffer.