In a country 21×7, many would say the Bahamas is engulfed in crime and I would have to agree with them. Living on an island where everyone knows everyone, crime unfortunately affects us all.
No longer are we able to say, “What you eat doesn’t make me sh*t” because in fact the crisis in our country is proving otherwise. Reckless criminal actions result in people living in fear and governments issuing travel warnings against the country. Everyone is in a panic yet no one is in action mode.
However, are we looking at the crime issue incorrectly? Most people blame the law, the sentencing and the lack of programs, which admittedly plays a role but there is unfortunately more to it. There comes a time that one must ask themselves whether or not they have done all they can in their role as a Bahamian person.
Looking back at the recent murders, people have been burned beyond recognition, elderly people have been shot and tourists are constantly robbed, it’s safe to say that criminals do not discriminate when it comes to committing criminal acts. This is clearly a cry for help. The patterns of crime exhibits incomprehensible anger.
There seems to be a dangerous cycle occurring in the Bahamas, the criminals are starting at younger ages and are more inexorable. What we are witnessing currently can very well be a reflection of social ills within society. Take for example, the rising rates of young mothers with children that they cannot afford to take care off. What do you think happens to a person that isn’t prepared to raise a child because she is still growing up? The child becomes a child of the streets and behold a criminal is born.
Not only is the mental state in the Bahamas on the decline but according to recent Psychology graduate Steve Thompson, there needs to be more interest in social work and awareness because if society crumbles, then everything will crumble.
“The idea of having a prayer meeting for the country is useless because the people in attendance aren’t the ones killing people,” he said.
Perhaps the ideas we have in this country for combating crime are a little mundane. We reach the law abiding citizens with our messages but the ones that need it can’t be reached in the same way.
“I think people need to realize how important social work is and how important the social workers are. People only see them as taking away kids, but that’s more than important because if you’re an unfit parent you will raise unfit children. These children will eventually act out and have unfit children of their own and they will be unfit members of society. The cycle has to be broken, we cannot have generations of criminals,” Mr. Thompson said.
Presently, the government would like more of a police presence everywhere on the island, but realistically that is impossible. Yet there are no programs geared towards the people who aren’t ready to have babies, but are having them anyway. Do we turn our heads and continue to allow them to contribute to a cycle of criminals? Advising people to abstain from sexual activities is as funny as placing a cake in front of an obese child and telling him not to eat it.
We attend baby showers for soon to be mothers knowing that the person isn’t capable to take care of another, but we drink the liquor and eat the food and we are content. Unknowingly we are contributing to the unfit cycle in this country. We like to boast of a Christian nation but forget some of the very same principles of Christianity such as being your brothers keeper. Or basic principles such as, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
With criminals determined to seize all that sustains the Bahamas, we need a plan and we need one quickly. Many criminals are victims themselves, many of them have suffered at the hands of their parents or grandparents and are simply lashing out as a way of expression. It goes to show that people are hurting and this is a problem that we cannot fix unless we seek to understand why it is occurring.
“I would tell the public that if you’re taking care of a child be careful of how you care for that child. From about five years and older, a child is really impacted by their caretakers. It may seem minuscule but the way in which you care for a child can affect his adulthood and the lives of others if things manifest negatively,” said Mr. Thompson. He added that teachers as well must be careful as they too can impact a child psychologically.
Our crime statistics aren’t just a reflection of the criminals in our country but a reflection of Bahamians everywhere. Crime will never be eliminated completely, but if we work together in all areas we can break the cycle that is destined to destroy our little country.