Dealing With Crime Demands Accountability

Are we really doing all we can to fight crime, and are we doing ourselves any justice by referring to it as a battle that needs to be won?

Wouldn’t it be more productive to speak of crimes of all sorts as matters which need to be addressed, solved, and dealt with effectively on every front?

These are questions that come to mind this week with news of yet another fatal incident, this time, reportedly, at the hands of the police.

This week brought news that a 17-year-old student from the Entrepot Secondary School was the island’s latest victim. While his school has chosen to stay quiet on the matter, social media was littered with comments from students of the school in pure disbelief that such a fate would be handed down to one of their own.

Call it inevitable (what’s meant to be will be?), or a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, one thing is for certain, young Arnold Joseph will no longer get to finish writing his CXC examinations along with the rest of his form. He will not have the chance to wait anxiously with the rest of his class to get his results, nor will he later graduate, and look forward to what the rest of his life will bring. He will also not be able to be the one, who always cheered others up, as his school mates remember him. He will not get to grow up. He will not be able to do any of these things because his life was cut short.

Many residing in the Castries area heard gunfire from the police involved shootout this week, but since then, not only has the school been quiet about the incident, police have also offered vague details on what transpired on the night. Failure of the police to respond quickly to this case has led many people to come to their own conclusions of the case, some even likening it to the infamous Vieux Fort Five shooting in 2011 which claimed the lives of five men, the youngest in his early 20s.

Police have also remained tight-lipped on details surrounding the identities of persons involved in the incident, one of whom is alleged to be a teacher who recently got into the profession.

As this story continues to unfold, one thing remains abundantly clear – we are losing our young men at an alarming rate. We count the number of them who die every year to gun violence or accidents, but never really seem to solve the problem at its root.

Rather than keeping details of incidents of this nature from the public, or providing vague statements, local police must make a habit of keeping the public informed on incidents affecting the populace, especially when a student as young as seventeen loses his life at their own hands, no matter the circumstance.

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