Crime wave, safety and unemployment

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Whether it’s petty theft, violence, rape or stealing someone’s mobile phone, the crime wave sweeping over Samoa is a menace this country can surely do without.

Since it is capable of undoing all the good work that’s being done by people who are making a decent effort to make this country a better place to live, we must feel duty bound to seek ways to eliminate the threat as soon as possible.

Indeed, everyone has a role to play. From the Police officers, government workers, church workers, village leaders to young boys and girls all over Samoa. 

What we want to say is that this is our country and it is really up to us to make it better. No one else will make Samoa better unless we take ownership of it and turn into the country we know it can become.

At this point, what we are seeing is extremely alarming. When we speak of the common ills of today, we are talking about horrifying incidents of innocent people being robbed and beaten in public places. There have stabbings reported from throughout the country, which have led to unnecessary loss of precious lives. Robberies and theft have become so commonplace. Elsewhere, rape. Incest and sexual abuse among other nasty criminal behaviour have become so common we can no longer ignore it.

How many innocent people have to be beaten and robbed on Beach Road before something is done to protect innocent members of the public?

How many elderly residents of this nation must be subjected to wanton acts of violence while their properties are being torn and taken from them?

How many more women must suffer from growing incidents of domestic violence? What about young children who are physically, mentally and sexually abused by people who are more powerful than them?

Come to think of it, these are not the sorts of incidents you’d expect in peaceful Samoa. 

Sad to say, this is our reality today. And it surely sends chills up the spine. Why? 

Well if innocent people are being robbed, raped and beaten in public places where you wouldn’t expect it to happen, what guarantee do we have that people will be safe elsewhere?

The fact is a series of heinous criminal offenses being committed quite regularly now has left many members of the community feeling very vulnerable and frightened. They have reason to since law and order appears to be under threat and no longer respected.

We accept that in the world today, unruly incidents such as the ones we’ve highlighted above have pretty much become part and parcel of everyday living.

Besides, they are not confined to Samoa.

But it doesn’t mean that this should be the norm. 

Absolutely not! If anything, such incidents should be frowned upon. We must do our best to ensure that they are stamped out and eliminated.

The question is, where exactly are we heading?

Are some people in this country heading for a life of hideous crime where law and order are blatantly disregarded, and no one is free of fear within the confines of his own home?

Let’s hope not. The truth is that part of the problem in Samoa is there is so much idleness in this country as a result of unemployment.

You and I know the reality. 

Today, hundreds of children and young adults do not attend school. In villages near Apia, they hardly have anything to do. That means they have a lot of energy to commit crime because there are no jobs where that energy could be channelled productively.

And that’s not all. With all these young kids on the streets, refusing to go school for one reason or another, they will only grow up to make our problems worse.

The way we see it, they too will become a menace to society by going on to steal, rape, assault and rob innocent people.

It follows then that we need to wake up and put a stop to this. Everyone has a role to play from the government, churches, villages and families. That’s what we think anyway. What about you?

Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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