Sociology

Crime Sharing Responsibility Public Responsibility Crime and the Public



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Sitting back after watching the latest action flick your mind wanders off placing you into the role of hero at least for a few seconds. Ever have those thoughts of wanting to do something as grand as saving a village, or taking down that kin pin drug lord? What about being the police officer who infiltrates his own unit exposing the corruption within? Your dreams are not as far off as you may think.

The tides of change are rolling in. With crime rates continuously on the rise, an acceleration of gang activity, and the barrage of ingenious new means and methods for carrying out the evils of our world the opportunity to share in the responsibility of keeping things under control is falling to you. This is no joke. The time to put on your Superman/Wonderwoman costume has come.

With governments unable to control their spending, or make better choices in their spending and budgets desperate pleas have been embarking. Communities are being called upon to assist with and even look after major concerns normally under the control of the powers that be. By major concerns I am referring to such issues as crime, charity, and medical aid.

There are two sides to every coin and arguments to be made for both. Community involvement in general is a good thing. We all should do what we can when we can. We should look after one another to the best of our abilities to do so. The public should not expect the government to bear the load of every burden. As well some things are better left to the public without government interference.

On the flip side one might see the government and the departments under their direction to be shirking their duties and not in any small manner. Pieces larger than boulders are falling from those shoulders.

Sometimes doing what we can is doing what is required of us such as paying our taxes. If we are paying for policing we shouldn't then be prevailed upon to become community officers endangering our own lives and perhaps the lives of others.

I believe in things like community block watch as the police can not be everywhere all the time and certainly our taxes could never cover that. I believe in people coming forward when they know about a crime or who has committed one. I also understand why some people do not given the judicial system of today. It is no longer safe to do the right thing. It would be if the right thing was done all the way up the chain but it is not.

While the public at large is being asked to come forward by means of donations, time, and as unpaid workers there has been no accountability of where the tax dollars for the same purpose have gone, or accountability of what the government is responsible for or will actually take responsibility for.

While millions of petitions are being presented to our governments for tougher laws and stiffer sentencing their response has been to provide the opposite and now they further ask for your assistance in looking after problems that have grown too large for them to handle on their own.

Gang activity is out of control, innocent people are being mistakenly or accidentally taken out in the crossfire. Meanwhile the gang member at the hospital who is having his gunshot wound treated refuses to talk to police. The growth of gangs and the escalation of their violence has surpassed the abilities of the police forces to handle.

I remind myself how the police are as frustrated as we are. They catch a criminal and then watch the court system release them. Are all judges fisherman with a catch and release philosophy? No need to worry about prison breaks, the criminals are breaking free one building ahead now. There are no bars on the courtroom doors.

In some countries (Columbia and Scotland) the powers that be have passed on their duties to school children. In efforts to control the cocaine epidemic the drug enforcement agencies are showing children the ecological damage caused to the fields where it is grown. Awareness is one thing. Doing anything and everything to eliminate the drug trade is appropriate in my mind, however, if this is their strongest long term plan of attack I shudder to think.

There is another way the public is asked to share responsibility when it comes to crime. It works like this; if you are a bartender and someone in your bar drinks to much and kills someone while driving home you can share in the responsibility of that crime. It is not enough to prevail upon the public to assist in eliminating crime now you can be asked to share in the punishment of crimes as well.

One lesson remains steadfast and true deal with a problem when it starts, nip it in the bud before it nips you. I wonder if the powers that be are so smug as to think that when they are ready and want to fix something it is within their control to do so. In the beginning a gang of three or four might not seem much.

Rather it would be looked at like a few punks or small time hoodlums. That may be but they were manageable at that time. What of the gangs now that are in the thousands and cover state to state and province to province. Crime has begun to have no borders or boundaries at all, much like our governments it seems.

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