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“Society has a responsibility in the crime rate”
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“Society has a responsibility in the crime rate”

Lyn-Marie BlackmanAn increase in the crime rate is an opportunity to look at society and at ways to reduce crime through prevention and intervention, writes Lyn-Marie Blackman, 30, a Commonwealth Correspondent alumni from Barbados.

For the past several months in Barbados there has been an upsurge in criminal activity, primarily perpetrated by young men.

As an individual who lives here, these events have been quite disturbing; as Barbadians we are becoming a people who are way too passive and reactive when it comes to these societal issues. No one wakes up one day and decides to get involved in criminal activity. It has a root, but many of us do not seek to find out what that is. We just like to offer our own suggestions about what punishment the offender should receive.

When a child is born, he or she normally has parents and extended family members who seek to raise them with the necessary values and morals needed in order to develop a good character for the future. The family’s behaviour should be a prime and positive example of what the child should be striving to emulate. But, due to the fact that we do not live in an ideal world, this is not always possible.

We have circumstances in our country where many mothers are tasked with the sole responsibility of raising male children. The father for whatever reason may be non-existent, or have a very small role in the child’s life. When that young boy is not armed with strong and positive men figures that he can look up to, what do we as a society think would naturally happen? That young boy will gravitate towards individuals he thinks, in his youthful reasoning, can provide some source of comfort and love to him. Now, I am not saying a single mother cannot raise a boy to be a mature and responsible young man, but a child needs balance.

We have been seeing in Barbados that a lot of our young men who are getting involved in this web of crime mostly come from single mother dominated homes. All young boys in an island as small as ours should have access to positive men – figures who can show them a better way. I urge those fathers who are actively involved in their own children lives to reach out to some single mother in their community who has no role model for her young son. I am not asking these fathers to be a replacement Dad, but to be an example.

We need to start helping our young sons before the criminal stage. We need to stop saying “it is not my problem”. For when that young man grows up and his issues spiral out of control so badly that it affects your children, then we want to take it seriously. Crime does not occur in a vacuum. It affects all of us.

We live in societies where many of us see that young boy acting out of pocket, but we usually turn a blind eye. However, when his actions visit our doorsteps in whatever capacity it does, then we want to cry and wail when the TV stations and newspapers visit us to talk about our murdered love one. But we did not play our part as citizens to help that young troubled boy before he murdered our love one.

For the next 50 years, Barbados, let us aim to be more proactive. Do not wait until your own child is lying bloodied in the streets, or until you do not feel safe in the island anymore because of that troubled young boy you passed by every day and never lifted a finger to assist. We all who live in Barbados are to blame for the upsurge of crime.

photo credit: ShahedMech Stick close in an overcrowded new world.. via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a conservative and articulate individual with an innate desire to see love, peace and unity triumph. My interests lie in medical research. I enjoy researching medical news from around the world and reporting it in my monthly newsletter entitled L.I.F.E.

I love biomedical science and believe it holds the key to a healthier society. I aspire to become a medical researcher and writer. My focus now is obtaining more exposure for my newsletters: L.I.F.E. and The Believer.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/
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