“Rose up early this morning,
To tha sounds of crying
Another mother shedding her t-e-a-r-s oh jah
Why all the pain and suffering?
Why all the senseless killing?
Could it be that nobody cares?” — John King
I am writing you this letter, Mr. Crime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to commend/condemn your rule based on which angle you understand this piece from. You deserve to be applauded for your record breaking year of crime? After all, a record is a record. You deserve to be commended for a job well done in making your country’s economy worst off. By the looks of things, your ministry of Social Security has outshone every other ministry in your cabinet. Record breaking unemployment, poverty and crime. Now, that is a well-run ministry.
Essentially, under your rule the country continue to break unwanted records, most notably in crimes. Here it is 11:40 P.M. 2023, I am reading the Facebook notification from Asbert News Network “Police are on the scene in Old Montrose where a man was shot and killed”. If this was the end of 2023 and the start of 2024 that your country produces then I am wondering what is
is in store for crimes in 2024?
Mr Crime Minister, as Minister of National Security, you continue to do a great job at not answering questions like the ones used above in the lyrics of John King. Also, your silence continues to be quite deafening, especially in a time when your people need to hear a reassuring voice in regards to safety and security in SVG. This does really seem like nobody cares.
Furthermore, the job you have done in relation to the significant, widespread, and prolonged downturn in your country’s economic activities is quite immaculate.
However, interestingly, you do try at times to “dodge the bullet” of responsibility for what is happening in your country. I find this to be very irresponsible of you since you have been on your throne for over 2 decades. If you are not to be blamed for the state of the crime situation in your country, then, I guess “high maintain women” really are the ones to be held responsible. Because someone is responsible.
Are these high maintenance women responsible for the worsening unemployment rate, rising inflation, closure of businesses, loss of consumer and investors confidence? Again, someone must be held responsible Mr. Crime Minister.
Additionally, Mr Crime Minister, you continue to make countless attempts to downplay the correlation between poverty and crime in your country. It is as if you are 100% not a part of the problem. However, you may continue to attempt to soften the blows or dodge responsibility, but the numbers don’t lie.
Mr. Crime Minister, Ryan Perez (2022), in an analysis called “ The Impact of Economic Conditions on Crime”, concludes that “overall, economic conditions as defined by selected and significant variables, can explain 36% of the variance in violent crime rates, 63% of the variance in property crime rates, and 60% of the variance in total crime rates”. This finding has been supported by the likes of (Razumich,2020), who concluded in a study of the Great Recession that” it was plagued by increases in robberies, burglaries and motor vehicle theft”. Now, don’t findings like these point to the notion that economically motivated crimes would increase in periods of hard economic conditions? To answer such a question, Mr. Crime Minister, you would have to admit first that your country is gravely economically disadvantaged.
Now, with analyses like these and more, how can any ruler excuse themselves from being held responsible when the crime situation is out of hand in their country? In addition, Mr. Crime Minister, you are very well versed in statistics and research. Therefore, allow me to share with you another finding in relation to the correlation between poverty and crime.
BrJ Psychiatry (2014), in a study geared towards investigating whether childhood family income predicts subsequent violent criminality, and substance misuse and whether the associations are in-turn risk factors concluded that “ Children of parents in the lowest income quantile experienced a sevenfold increased hazard rate of being convicted of violent crimes in comparison to peers in the highest quantile”. This finding has to be so, given how often teens and young adults are caught up in criminality in SVG. The correlation between poverty and crimes is quite evident, and even Ray Charles would have been able to see this.
To sum up, defendants of the Crime Minister may call me naive after reading this piece. However, at no point in time am I laying the blame for the crime situation in SVG solely at the feet of the Prime Minister. As a matter of fact, we all have a role to play in finding solutions to curb the causes and effects of crimes in our country. Parents, individuals, churches, entrepreneurs et al all have a role to play in ensuring that our nation is safe and secure for locals and tourists alike.
However, the primary source for safety and security lies with the prime minister/leader and minister of national security in any nation. Surely this has to be your new year resolution if you want the nation to have confidence in you. For, if you and all the other key players in national security continue to fail, then, quite evidently the nation fails.
Lastly, every country in the world experiences a level of crime. However, countries with damning economic conditions and their associations with poverty are the ones with the record breaking crime rates. Therefore, SVG with 36% poverty in 2018, an increase in indigence to over 11.3% in 2018 and over 40% youth unemployment clearly explains why we continue to break crime records.
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