The Bat­tle Against Crime Goes On!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Peter Josie

Saint Lucia’s crime sit­u­a­tion is a pop­u­lar topic of dis­cus­sion among saints and sin­ners alike. But sel­dom do you hear about its pos­si­ble causes. I add my own analysis per­chance to con­trib­ute to sen­si­ble re­search and how we may fi­nally com­bat and beat the grow­ing prob­lem. I do so for the best of all rea­sons: love of coun­try. Bet­ter parenting, bet­ter school­ing, bet­ter polic­ing and big brother men­tor­ing have been sug­gested. Some have pointed an ac­cus­ing fin­ger at par­ents— the cru­cible of early nur­tur­ing —se­verely crit­i­ciz­ing them for their chil­dren’s crimes. But what of par­ents them­selves? What do we see when we look in the mir­ror?

Are way­ward par­ents ca­pa­ble of see­ing clearly what’s in front of them? I ar­gue that many par­ents see their prob­lem chil­dren as nor­mal. Some have been blinded by a life with­out love, only abuse. Such par­ents view so­ci­ety and its in­sti­tu­tions as their en­e­mies. They avoid as best they can all en­coun­ters with author­ity. They talk about God only in the con­text of God will pro­vide. By which they re­fer to ma­te­rial things.

Then there are par­ents deeply un­cer­tain of whom or what they are. These have never em­braced the lan­guages of the Bri­tish or the French, nei­ther their cul­ture. They live each day in a state of doubt, in limbo. Rais­ing a child from an un­wanted and un­planned preg­nancy adds an­other bur­den.

There is a third cat­e­gory of nor­mal, in­tel­li­gent peo­ple who use crime to fur­ther en­rich them­selves. These are known as white-col­lar crim­i­nals, which has less to do with their clothes than their sta­tus in so­ci­ety, their jobs and so on.

A fourth cat­e­gory is hyp­o­crit­i­cal grand­par­ents who know where the grand­child for a clear na­tional pol­icy first needs to be re­solved be­fore one can de­velop the self-con­fi­dence nec­es­sary to prop­erly guide and man­age. To ed­u­cate chil­dren as cit­i­zens with rights, priv­i­leges and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties may be the first step in the at­tack on crim­i­nal con­duct.

We tend to avoid our his­tory, (both per­sonal and na­tional) and in­stead em­bark on an emo­tional rather than a sci­en­tific path of defin­ing our­selves. Some have jet­ti­soned the word Cre­ole for Kwéyòl even though the vast ma­jor­ity of Saint Lu­cians con­tinue to use the word pa­tois to mean the same thing. Dif­fer­ent peo­ple see dif­fer­ent things when they even though some have never heard the term. Oc­cam’s ra­zor (also called Ock­ham’s ra­zor) is a sim­ple phi­los­o­phy which states that if there are two or more ex­pla­na­tions to an oc­cur­rence, the sim­plest an­swer is of­ten the cor­rect one. Per­haps this ex­plains why, in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, petty theft, prae­dial lar­ceny and steal­ing an­swer im­me­di­ate needs. It ex­plains why small busi­nesses are more of­ten at­tacked than those with elab­o­rate se­cu­rity.

It takes some­one fa­mil­iar with Oc­cam’s ra­zor to get to the mind of the crim­i­nal. Such a per­son knows and un­der­stands that es­ca­lat­ing crime must not be over-thought or rea­sons dis­prove the­o­ries that a lack of jobs leads to crime. There is no proven sci­en­tific find­ing for such an as­ser­tion but peo­ple keep mak­ing it nonethe­less.

Any sci­en­tific study of crime ought to be un­der­taken by per­sons who are fa­mil­iar with the philoso­phies of Oc­cam’s ra­zor, and the null hy­poth­e­sis. The best per­sons for such a task are those who con­sis­tently used Oc­cam’s ra­zor in their jour­nal­is­tic pro­fes­sion and writ­ings. Per­sons who un­der­stand the con­cept of verisimil­i­tude (truth­ful­ness) and are fa­mil­iar with the ef­fects of his­tory, re­li­gion, and politics on some par­ents also come to mind. A third per­son ought to

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