As I spoke about in last week’s column the time has come to, as concerned citizens, ask some questions of authorities and the systems that are supposed to be protecting us. Again, this is not meant to bash the good men and women serving in the police force but instead to examine the system, and how it can be more effective.The crime rate and the severity of the crimes committed are quickly escalating. As they have it does not seem that much is being done to combat the problem. At least not by the authorities. Citizens have come together to form neighborhood watch groups. They have invested in more security measures for their homes. The citizens have done their part and more. It is time for the authorities to step up.
The solutions are simple. The criminals that are plaguing this city are not highly organized or sophisticated – they are common thugs and the crime wave to be brought under control with a just a few simple changes.
The first and most important change is actual police presence. It seems the only time we see police officers is when they are handing out traffic fines or if they are heading up a group of ‘volunteers’ as they maraud through neighborhoods harassing maids and gardeners. Which, seeing as how the crime rate is steadily escalating, is clearly not working.
Instead, the police need to do regular night patrols both on foot and in vehicles. Each neighborhood should have its own sub-station. The officers manning these sub-stations need to be diligent about being in contact with the community, letting them know how to contact them and listening to any concerns and activity people have noticed.
At night there needs to be at least one patrol on foot and at least one in a vehicle. The officers need to have maps and knowledge of the area so that they can respond to a scene within three to five minutes after receiving a call.
Studies done in other countries show drastic reduction in crime rates with no other changes except regular patrols.
This is an easy change that requires nothing more than a re-alignment of manpower. So why haven’t they done this already? When will the government start taking actual steps to protect its citizens instead of just providing some much theatre?