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Do we have the political will to tackle gun crime?

A few days after the Boston debacle, I told a few friends that I expected the US authorities to eventually find whoever did this. I knew, even from TV programmes, that there was CCTV all over the place, there are satellites that observe your every move, the international intelligence community is connected, they track and trace your actions from credit card sales, cellphone usage; and you basically have to conclude that ”big brother is watching“.

Does anyone remember the movie ‘Enemy of the State’ featuring Will Smith? This movie was produced in 1998 and even then, 15 years ago, technology was available such that you got the feeling that not only was big brother watching your every move; but you knew that if the authorities really wanted to catch a criminal; with the technology that was available in 1998; catching a thief was only a question of how long it would take.

So when the bombs exploded in Boston the other day; I was already visualising the FBI, CIA, Interpol, Homeland Security and the whole crew going through the process of finding out who did this. I saw people reviewing CCTV at airports, on train stations, at all the ports of entry and exit. I saw angry men and women working around the clock, looking at images on monitors. In my mind I envisioned an artist drawing an image of the alleged perpetrator.

My imagination then saw someone tracking all purchases of weapons, explosives, etc over a period that ties into the dates revealed from the crime scene analysis of fragments of whatever was left at the explosions and the debris. I guessed that someone was looking at bank accounts and credit card purchases of this nature.

I saw the picture, shape and look of this person changing and becoming clearer with the use of computer and graphic technology. I saw people looking at images frame by frame of persons in the area of the bombs for several hours and days before the explosions and finally I imagined them sending in a SWAT team to kill or apprehend the person or persons.

In view of all the above, it is clear to me that when law enforcement systems want to find criminals; they can and they will. My mind’s next thought was, ’OK, so if they can do this in America and for any major event anywhere in the world, why can’t we do this in Bermuda?“

Earlier I suggested that the law enforcement community is connected and works together on an international level. I would have thought that that is a given. You just expect cops to speak to cops overseas as and when appropriate, to help each other solve crimes.

So I asked myself, if this is the case and all this technology is available to the law enforcement community; why in Heaven’s name can’t we solve our crimes more quickly in Bermuda?

Clearly in Boston there was the political and social will to solve this crime. Therefore, even an ignorant person would ask the question of whether we in Bermuda have the political will to solve the problem.

A brief chat with my brains trust suggested that there was a significant amount of cooperation by private citizens, who came forward with information in the Boston marathon massacre, but then I thought that if I accept that, one of my regular readers would accuse me of punishing the foot soldiers but letting off the generals.

So I’m blaming the generals today and suggesting that the generals don’t have the political will to solve our crimes.

I’ve seen some dumb stuff happen in Bermuda in cases where persons should be either put before the courts or sent to jail. I’ve seen files go missing, I’ve seen witnesses change their minds, juries have found people innocent when all the evidence would cause right thinking people to find persons guilty.

But again, I would be letting off the generals if I buy into this thinking. I am suggesting here that we don’t have the political will to solve some of our crimes. Let’s take the drug trade for instance. Given the amount of technology available, we should be able to determine where all the weed that comes into Bermuda originated, who brought it in, who helped them, how it arrived, who sent it, what money changed hands, etc etc.

So why does the trade continue? I propose that it is because someone who is very influential wants it to continue and is benefiting from it.

Let’s look at all the gun craziness that is happening on our streets. We should be able to determine where the guns and ammunition originated, who brought it in, who helped them, how it arrived, who sent it, what money changed hands, etc etc.

I can only conclude that we must ask ourselves if we have the political will to solve our crimes, because if we did, with all the technology available, crimes would be solved, perpetrators brought to justice and Bermuda would be a safer, happier place.

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Published April 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm)

Do we have the political will to tackle gun crime?

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