Sunday, December 9, 2012

Armed Robberies and the public’s safety

Armed Robberies and the public’s safety

I was awakened by a phone call shortly after 4:00 a.m. recently by my next door neighbor. She phoned after she was awakened by shuffling feet outside one of her bedroom windows. She said she carefully peeped through a window and saw four men looking into one of her bedrooms. Her first reaction was to call the police and then let the robbers know that her family members were wide awake.

She said that the potential robbers left shortly thereafter, but not before firing a gun shot in the air. My neighbor’s house is just 25 feet from my bedroom window. Hearing the sound of a gunshot at 4:00 in the morning always spells trouble.

No one was physically hurt in this incident, but this sort of behavior does leave a sour taste in your mouth. It leaves you with a sense of uneasiness and despite the robbery never actually taking place, one of the men still felt the need to discharge his weapon. What are we to do Bahamians and residents?

Just recently, a young man was shot and killed in an attempted armed robbery at a grocery store. But this has not sounded off the alarm to other robbers who seem to be very hard at work at their craft and continue to cause havoc in our society. They know that most Bahamians are unarmed and in fear of them and that the robber who was recently killed was just the luck of the draw. Robbers almost always win.

The police never came to my neighbor’s rescue even though the police station is a stone’s throw away. I trust that this is just a onetime occurrence. I ask again Bahamians, what are we to do? Some government ministers have smartly armed themselves with hand guns for their protection. They know that we are dealing with a new breed of criminal as stated by the Commissioner of Police, Ellison Greenslade last year. What do we do at 4:00 a.m. in the morning when these ruffians break into our homes and demand cash and take our valuables with a loaded pistol pointed to our skull?

According to Greenslade, armed robberies have increased by 18% in the country compared to last year’s figures. Armed robbers are extremely brazing these days and they seem even more determined during this yuletide season to haul in unearned Christmas money. Some of them are carrying out their nefarious activities in broad daylight and sometimes they don’t even conceal their identity. There is no question that they have deadly intent.

Until we get this area of crime under control, I will be an advocate for Bahamians having all the means to properly protect themselves and their families even if it means bearing arms. A cutlass and a baseball bat will not suffice. Rapid Strike and Urban Renewal 2.0 have not quelled the thirst for robbers with guns to act.

Law abiding citizens need a means to better protect themselves. Armed robbers continue to win these lopsided encounters against the good citizens of our country and unfortunately they seem to be accelerating their efforts.

Dehavilland Moss

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