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COLUMN – Beware the fancy criminal

idoancareFor the past few weeks, all I have been seeing on my WhatsApp or Facebook is some sort of warning about criminals or would-be criminals. Do not open your doors to well-dressed men; do not open to men asking for use of your phone; do not open to men offering gifts or delivering packages; do not open to men dressed as men, looking like men; beware of the man driving the car licensed ABC 123; watch out for hired cars.  Every single day, it seems, there is something being posted –– and with good reason.

Criminals are becoming very bold and innovative in their efforts to take your money and/or valuables. When you think you are up to date with the latest scams, another one comes at you.

It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with these no-good guys who could care very little about how they achieve what they are after. Hurting you is not a problem for them; so expect injuries if you are invaded or refuse to cooperate.

It is never easy on a parent seeing a son or daughter being taken to court on criminal charges; neither is it okay seeing a loved one traumatized or seriously injured or worse, owing to the senseless efforts of an individual or individuals. All I am wondering daily is exactly what is happening to my beloved Barbados.

Things are happening as if by season, it seems. We had the regular murders involving young men who still hadn’t lost their mother’s features; and prior to that it was either domestic violence issues or cellphone robberies. Now we are faced with home invasions and con artists trying to get your belongings.

When I think of it, it is not a new thing; but the efforts in committing the crimes are becoming fancy.

While the police are doing their best to apprehend these culprits, they too are faced with issues within their ranks. The charges are adding up lately, and it is not looking good at all.

I must admit I am a big supporter of the Royal Barbados Police Force, and many times I have defended their efforts. As with everything else, there is the good and the bad. Some are officers not as smart as you would hope, and end up embarrassing the others who choose to take the high road.

What exactly could make these men and women sworn to honour, serve and protect turn to criminal activity?

It has been tough on all of us for a while now. Some of us are still being paid the same salary for nearly ten years now, but have to deal with the rising cost of living. Work is not getting any easier for any of us, and worsening the situation could it be the case of our living beyond our means?

Bosses can’t be forced to pay more money when all we are hearing them say is how bad business is; and seeing fellow workers sent home cements the situation.

I can empathize and sympathize with those facing a tough time in life; but every other person is at present. I believe we need to curb our urges to continue living like it’s 1999 and realize that times have changed and so too should our habits.

We still want to fly high, when our wings have been clipped, and spend what we don’t have –– either feed our egos or impress our friends. It is better to drive the car you can afford instead of going for the big SUV that will make you do illegal things to maintain it.

I guess you see where I am coming from; and since you are all smart people I need not give any further examples.

I strongly believe criminal activity eventually catches up with you. It is one thing catching criminals and a hell of a turnaround when you yourself are caught in criminal activity, and now have to take up residence with the ones whom you originally helped put in jail. That can’t be easy at all.

Freedom is such a wonderful thing to have, why go and lose it?

Times may be quite hard, but doing things to face even harder time really doesn’t make it easier.

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