Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crime Pays?

I was going to do an article on the dangerous situation on the southeast peninsula. I've quit running it in the morning because the retaining wall is still taking up 1/2 of the main thoroughfare on Timothy Hill; the potholes have been ever increasing and deepening, resulting in swerving cars, taxis and buses and damaged wheels; and the overgrown vegetation has made it impossible to see around corners. But then Michael told me that they're filling the potholes in. Yay! Michael mentioned to someone in the fire department that they should use non-violent prisoners to cut back the vegetation, and got a good response, so maybe they'll forward on the idea. I might get out there with a shovel and clean the debris from the wall myself. We're in season! St. Kitts is supposed to be putting their best face forward. They've increased taxes, which makes one expect a certain level of services. People are investing huge amounts down on the peninsula. This is the first impression we want to give them? It seems, there's hope, so let's talk about something else.

The police and crime. We have heard so many stories about the cops just ignoring crime going on right around them. Here's another one. This poor woman was robbed in her own home, her son saved her, the crook ran and the the victim was relieved to see a cop that happened to going past. The criminal couldn't be too far away, and here were the police to apprehend him - what were the chances? Except that they didn't help her. They were there for something else, so ended up just eventually taking her to the station to file a report before she took herself to the hospital to treat some wounds. Does this bother anyone else? The Prime Minister maybe? Do a search on "masked" or "robbed" on the SKNVibes website and prepare to be depressed. Sure, if you put any city/country under a microscope like this, it might not fare too well, but maybe they all should be evaluated this way. There aren't that many businesses on the island (or people for that matter), so the percentages are appalling. There's a reason the UK and US are issuing warnings and the ministers here need to stop giving them the finger. Stop with the denials and take some responsibility. This can be fixed!

April 8th - a beloved taxi driver was found killed beside his bus.

April 11th - A British couple was found decomposing in their home.

April 23rd - The Texaco Gas Station was robbed.

June 16th - People in the Big Shop in Sandy Point were robbed at gunpoint. A man from Basseterre was robbed that morning too.

June 11th - Two men held-up some workers at a construction site at Port Zante.

June 24th - A British couple was burglarized and injured in their home.

June 26th - Armed gunmen robbed a Carib Brewery truck that was delivering drinks. The same day a couple were shot at in their car and had to be treated for injuries.

June 27th - The Cayon Police station was held up - either for evidence or someone held there (no one knows).

July 1st - The Royal Bank of Canada was robbed.

July 5th - Three armed, masked individuals robbed an O.D. Brisbane delivery truck.

July 11th - Three masked men, two of whom were armed, entered the Sky Safari office at Wingfield Road and robbed the employees of an undisclosed sum of money.

July 16th - An employee of Ocean Cold Storage was robbed of an undisclosed sum of money.

August 5th - The owner of Stone Walls downtown was robbed at knife point. Later her mother would be roughed up and robbed at her place of business in Nevis (Miss June's), and her sister's home would be broken into too (and her dog temporarily dognapped).

August 26th - The Sandy Point Branch of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla-National Bank was held up by a lone gunman.

September 2nd - An armed, masked individual attempted to rob the Gillard’s gas station (he might have been apprehended).
September 20th - An off-duty cop shot a guy mid-robbery only to get in trouble for moonlighting.

October 14th - Two armed bandits robbed the cashier at a Western Union.

October 29th - Two armed men robbed the Sandy Point Branch of TDC of an undisclosed sum of money. It had been ransacked before that on October 16th. A woman inspector and her daughter got mugged & roughed up too.

November 1st - MaPau casino was robbed.

Many of these crimes happened in broad daylight and few (if any) crimes have been solved (many not even mentioned have been kept on the down-low). This doesn't even include the thefts that require students to put lojack-type software onto their laptops should they be stolen. You'll note that none of these crimes involved tourists (they just have to watch being gouged by taxi drivers and locals bearing cute little monkeys), but for anyone living here or thinking about living here, how can one not have second thoughts? I'd be petrified to be an employee, truck driver, or business on this island.

Tourist areas have a good security presence thanks to businesses that are smart enough to know how important safety is to their bottom lines. When is the same thing going to occur to the government on an island-wide basis?