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Strong principles our best weapon against crime

Laws need reviewing: CCTV footage showing two armed robbers stealing cash from the MoneyShop store in Warwick. Legislators must do their bit to address the use of dark-tinted visors in acts of crime but the root of the problem lies in the home, says our columnist

There is considerable concern mounting throughout much of our community that violent crime is beginning to eat away at what most Bermudians have always cherished as an environment of safety and peace.

It seems this cultural corrosion is slipping out of control.

While politicians, police and community leaders attempt to seek ways to stem the tide, they are kept busy around the clock on this crucial problem that weakens any decent society.

Sometimes it is almost forgotten that the best weapon against crime is not necessarily a larger police force and tougher crime laws, although that can be helpful.

What appears to be missing in the thrust to reverse what is certainly a troubling trend on our beautiful island is that the greatest weapon against crime is really how well good values are taught early in the home.

From the moment a child begins to understand, values should be taught in a manner that makes it clear there are consequences for refusing to comply with basic rules and laws that are a part of good living. No child is born with the urge to commit crime even before they open their eyes. However, a lot can happen between the time they crawl and later become aware of what is going on around them.

This is why the home remains the centre for laying down a foundation, which hopefully will serve as a guidepost to challenges along the way to becoming a productive citizen.

With daring robberies occurring too frequently, which has renewed calls for more CCTV cameras, along with a possible ban on dark-tinted visors that are often used in serious crimes, our legislators need to collectively take action that would at least make it more difficult for criminals to use a legal item to conceal their identity during an act of crime.

What they need to do might ruffle some feathers but community safety should be a priority over what may be considered headgear style for protection from the sun when in fact there is a more sinister purpose in mind.

Although there are riders with dark-tinted visors with no criminal intentions, our community should not be playing some type of waiting game over what action to take when the potential exists for possible harm to an innocent person.

Whenever there is an incident, police issue appeal after appeal for community assistance in trying to find those responsible and they have met with positive results in a number of cases. It is a never-ending task because criminal minds lurk in every society and this creates a challenge for every law-abiding citizen who yearns for peace and safety.

So much has changed in the teaching of values from birth, in an age where a kaleidoscope of distractions of every type crowd many families to a point where in some cases communication is reduced to one or two words in between texting or Facebook activity.

Something needs to change in order to have the incoming generation better armed with values that have proven solid with previous generations.

Things were not perfect back then but there was a keener sense of respect for rules, especially in the home.

If nothing changes in teaching young people early about proper behaviour, what we are seeing today could get even worse and that should concern every Bermudian.

Wishing away complex problems will never work.

Legislators need to review laws governing dark-tinted visors on safety helmets as a start to what should be an Island-wide campaign to prevent their use in acts of crime.

The best weapon against crime is a society anchored in strong principles that include a deep commitment to teaching children early to have respect for each other in every aspect of community life.

It will not solve all of our problems but it will pave the way for a better tomorrow.