Readjusting social attitudes among ways to combat crime
As we move about the community, our countrymen are saying time and time again that they are tired of politicians politicising crime as if they can singularly and magically make criminality disappear overnight. Bermudians are telling us that words of condemnation and sympathy alone cannot curb the negative trends; only real substantive action can.
Why do so many of our young men and women engage in criminality?
How can an individual pick up a gun with murderous intent?
Why would someone be so brazen to enter another person's home and violate their privacy?
How can any one of us callously stab another or even strip our clothes in jest or mockery of our own traditions?
Too many of those who say they have all the answers don't truly understand that far too many of our people, our families and neighbourhoods are broken.
When we understand that our students are attending school hungry, that they suffer mental, physical and sexual abuse in their own homes, plagued by a society that places materialism above relationships, and status symbols as tokens of success, we only begin to reveal the underlying causes that drive us to hurt one another.
It seems that each year there is a more concerted effort to undermine the essence of Cup Match in exchange for debauchery. Whether it is underage sex, sliding down the wicket or streaking, we are seeing trends to usurp our own community.
That a celebration of the anniversary of emancipation was marred by stabbings and streaking is reflective of our lost appreciation for our collective struggles and triumphs.
The Progressive Labour Party appreciates that there are no quick fixes, and that there are root causes that must be acknowledged and addressed if we are to effectively combat crime and to improve our present condition.
We understand that we must tackle the economic disparity that is evident in every aspect of our society, inclusive of the lack of comprehensive knowledge of ourselves and our history.
The people are saying that they are tired of politicians that place style over substance, and they understand that photo opportunities won't stop crime, won't stop murders and won't tackle the root causes that create crimes and murders in our society. We have some serious dysfunction within our community, and crime will not abate until we establish stronger pathways for success for our people, including:
• Education reform that prepares our children to take control of their economy, teaches them knowledge of self, gives them a future and creates hope for a better life than the one their parents had
• Tough immigration laws that protect Bermudian jobs and opportunities, and harshly punish those who seek to deny opportunities to Bermudians
• A diversified economy where there is room for Bermudians not just at the entry levels, but at the top as well
• Job Corps to give our young men and women a pathway off the wall and into full-time employment or entrepreneurship
• Investing in the training and retraining of our people to create new employment opportunities, career advancement and entrepreneurial knowhow.
Increased job opportunities, economic advancement, improved health and living conditions, decreasing challenges between our foreign workforce and local labour market, and readjusting social attitudes are the way forward in respect to combating crime.
An attitude that any behaviour is acceptable is crippling us as a society, and we urge the One Bermuda Alliance to rethink its approach before more of our people fall victim to senseless crimes.
• Marc Daniels is an Opposition senator and the spokesman in the Senate for the Attorney-General and Legal Affairs