A Final Word On Crime
No one should be allowed to have any opinion on the solutions to crime in the USVI unless:
They possess a valid USVI drivers license.
They are registered voters in the USVI.
They file their annual taxes in the USVI.
They have lived on-island, full time, for at least 1 year.
And that is really MY final word on crime in the USVI.
Wow Linda, that's pretty Bush of you to suggest that no one should express an opnion on this topic without living in the VIs...
This thread is absolutely fascinating and there have been many thoughtful comments.
ASEMOVE and Island Ed have both given me much food for thought.
Wow! You say:
"No one should be allowed to have any opinion on the solutions to crime in the USVI unless..........."
This seems a bit heavy-handed to say the least.
Even though I am not in compliance with all of the numerous rules and regulations you have set forth, I feel that it is important to respect the rights of other posters on this board to HAVE and to express their opinions, whether you agree with them or not, as long as they comply with the board rules.
Peace to you too :)!
Great post. There has never been a time in history when crime did not exist, from the day that Cain killed his brother Abel to the present.
To base one's opinion on whether or not to move to an area based on the "crime figures" is silly...crime is inescapable.
I'm glad I was able to generate some discussion on this topic, but it is a dead topic and should be laid to rest. I voiced some opinions, but the reality is that there is no solution because you will never convince the entire human race to obey the laws...and legalizing firearms and giving everyone a "right to carry" won't work either. I'm sure we remember the sad case of a couple years ago on the mainland when a father shot and killed his daughter after she jumped out of a closet in an attempt to play a game with him.
You can enact draconian laws in an attempt to intimidate people into being law-abiding, but look at China for example. The knowledge that you will receive a bullet to the back of the head hasn't deterred people from committing crimes, and China has the highest execution rate in the world.
It comes down to the individual. You watch yourself, secure your home, educate your children, get to know your neighbors, and look out for each other. Don't depend on the police. My house was broken into three times the first two months I owned it (STX). The cops came, forensics, etc...nothing was ever resolved, and my money, TV, stereo, passport, etc was never recovered. The thieves kept coming back and disabling the alarm system, breaking doors and windows, etc. What did I do? I secured the house by installing unobtrusive grillwork, installed heavy duty security locks, and I have a big, vicious dog who has the run of the entire house while I'm away. They would have to kill him first. Problem solved, no more breakins in years. Word gets around that a particular house is not an easy mark. They look for the easy stuff like sliding glass doors and windows left open. Also don't keep cash in the house, and don't flash it in public. Don't drive a car that the boys like to race, they'll steal it for parts...any Honda Acura model, for example. I would never own a Honda here. THey won't steal your Ford F150 pickup. The bad boys don't think pickups are "cool", they like "cool" rides. Don't play your car stereo loud, and don't put an expensive after-market stereo in your car...they will break in and take it. The bad boys love anything that makes entertaining noises or has speakers attached.
Remember it is a confrontational culture. Don't stare at people, they'll likely say something rude about your mother. If you can live in a quiet, sequestered neighborhood, do so, and get to know your neighbors, and form a neighborhood watch. If you have cleaning people or yard maintenance people, make sure you know them and make sure they don't tell their friends about your property...you never know who their friends are. Remember people like to retaliate, do never make any enemies here.
Other than that, paradise.
Thanks for playing.
That was fun. Maybe we should look to Japan as an example of a place that has quelled crime and not had to use draconian measures to achieve this.
Interesting you mention Japan. Neighborhood-based police have been a factor in giving Japan the enviable reputation of having streets that are safe to walk. Japan’s traditional style of neighborhood policing has attracted foreign interest.
Traditionally, Japanese police work from small district stations operated by perhaps a dozen officers organized into shifts.
The scope of friendly service activity provided by koban officers is legendary:
- advising on addresses in Japan’s largely unnamed streets.
- lending out unclaimed found umbrellas to commuters caught in showers.
- ensuring drunken sararimen get the last train home.
- and counselling on ‘citizen’s troubles'.
Imagine walking downtown after the Greenhouse closes (STT) and having the police make sure you get the last safari home!
I guess that means that if you ,God Forbid, had a diease you would only go to a doctor who had the same diease, drove on your streets with the local drivers license, lived in your town for at least a year, voted and paid local taxes.
I think not!
Also I am of the belief that a big portion of this messaga board readership/contributors do not meet your rules. THAT IS WHY THIS BOARD IS CALLED USVI RELOCATION MOVING BOARD. Not living here for a long time board.
It appears that the folks who have lived there for a long time have not been able to solve all of the problems. Even though many have really tried. Sometimes help or ideas from outside is the answer. Sometimes not.
Matt T and Island ED,
I think the big difference in Japan is the the local goverment and police are really care and are trying.
I guess people who care need to get behind someone in the elections who want to be tough on chrime.
I know it's easier said than done.
I moved to St Thomas straight out of Lewis and Clark Law School (Northwestern School of Law). I now live on St. Croix, having lived on both islands. I can tell you that the crime here is no different from the crime in any city in the United States. Don't go where the thugs hang out. If you want to go buy your drugs on the corner, you're going to run into problems, just like any place else. Of course you have to lock your doors at night, but I did that when I lived in Portland, Oregon.
Totally correct. You cannot understand the problems - or the culture - until you live here. (Visiting / snow-birding cannot understand how things work - a good Baptist "total immersion" is necessary to understand all the subtleties - and not so subtleties - of the West Indian culture.) Solutions that work in the states don't work here. I agree with Sunburn - if you think you can come down and solve the problems, please do. But don't be surprised when the problems consume you, instead of you consuming the problems.
Re: A Final Word On Crime
Posted by: Linda J (IP Logged)
Date: May 23, 2006 01:10AM
Are you insane? Would you lobby for such changes in your home town?
Linda, you gave me a big smile on this reply. I spent a lot of time in the west. The West being defined as the box of states with the corners of ID, ND, AZ & NM. It has been over 20 years ago, but during that era, in the rural areas and in many metropolitan areas, most people carried a gun on them someplace, in your boot mostly. The first time I went to Cheyenne, I walked into a bar, and there was a sign that said “Please check your gun with the bartender”. I thought it was a joke, or something from the old west. It was not a joke. The bartender asked for my gun, so I gave it to him. Got it back when I left. The west is a special place. There are many stretches of highway where you can drive over a hundred miles and not see so much as a telephone post. Maybe not even meet a car for over an hour or 2. There are many areas in which you cannot find a radio station on your car radio. Not a place to break down without some protection.
At a black tie breakfast awards dinner in Denver – the only people that were invited were the top producers in my western division -- certainly not deadbeats by any means. At our table that morning there were 8 people. 4 men and their wives ranging in age from 25 to 55. The only people that did not have a gun with them – including the women – were a couple there from KS. Everyone else was from one of the above states. 8 people – 6 guns.
So would I lobby for these changes? I just wish we had those freedoms today, as muggings, rapes, burglaries, etc., were simply non-existent in the towns where the bad guys knew everyone was carrying a gun.
And no – before you ask or assume – was there ever a case of people getting shot all the time. When you grow up with guns, you learn to respect them and take care of them and handle them with utmost safety. The bad guys did not get shot because they knew better than to try anything.
So the chuckle came as I realized just how different and how many different cultures we have here in the states. Some people think guns are the root of all crime, while others view them as a way of preventing crime.
So I agree with you. Until I migrate, I have no business making any suggestions until I can live the life and understand what is going on. I am sorry if I gave you pause to exhale slowly, and gain your composure before replying. I have lived in many areas of our fine country. One time, in a lower part of my life, I had the chance to reside in one of the worst parts of Oakland, CA. If I can survive that, I am confident I can live anywhere. You just got to learn the rules.
Anyway, thanks for your view and the reminder.
"So would I lobby for these changes? I just wish we had those freedoms today, as muggings, rapes, burglaries, etc., were simply non-existent in the towns where the bad guys knew everyone was carrying a gun.
NO. Criminals shot and killed a fully-armed police officer moonlighting at Wendy's as a security guard. We recently had a motorcade in his memory, God rest his soul. Criminals shot and killed a fully armed jewelry store owner late last year. Criminals will enter your house while you are home, with no knowledge of whether you have a gun or not.
At a recent Fiday "jump-up", teenage girls assaulted a fully armed police officer. There is absolutely no regard for an armed person here. If you shoot and kill an assailant, there will be reprisals from the assailant's family and friends, probably resulting in your death...many of the killings here are revenge killings.
Some humans are always going to be criminals. Most of us try to be good people. It's just something you have to live with.
Here on the mainland, if you shoot someone, there will be reprisals, but in the form of laywers for the family of the criminals or bleeding hearts. I'm not sure which is worse. Lawyers are why we have so many of the problems we have today. Shakespear was right!
I guess "snowbirding" applies to me....OK.
Let's get back to the basics...ignore all the "other stuff" on this thread......
The problem is crime. There are many conditions and their corresponding solutions.
Identify a problem...see my previous post....provide a particular solution to a specific problem...someone did.
What have you done to try to solve the problem?
Too many people do a lot of talking and griping, but do nothing about the situation.....and the problem (crime) prevails.
Sadly, to oversimplify the situation and suggest it is simple to offer a solution and "do something" to address increasing crime and violence, which is a worldwide problem, only betrays a lack of understanding of the scope of the issue, and the profound and pervasive transormations required to to create realistic hope for a better world. While you may request others provide strategies that can be employed to try to prevent criminal acts, do they stop people from becoming criminals? No. Since people commit crimes, to the extent that they change for the better, crime is reduced. But it has never been easy for people to change for the better. According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, a crime is “a grave offense esp[ecially] against morality.” We live in an age of moral breakdown. The roots of that issue must be addressed if there is to be any lasting hope to remedy crime.
You missed my point (initially).....but then stated it precisely with your last sentence....."The roots of that issue must be addressed if there is to be any lasting hope to remedy crime".
And if I may add.......someone (we) must take the action to do it rather than complain about it.
Great! Do you see my point?
Here are a few more headlines:
“YOUTHS Claim Boredom Is Main Cause of Juvenile Crime,” declared a leading British newspaper.
“Home Strife Blamed for Rising Crime,” said another.
“Addictions ‘Prompt Thousands of Crimes.” a third stated.
Other factors also contribute to sparking criminal behavior.
“Poverty in juxtaposition to great wealth” is one that was referred to by an inspector-general of police.
Peer pressure and poor job prospects, the absence of strong legal deterrents, the general breakdown in family values, the lack of respect for authority and law, and the excessive violence in films and videos are also cited. The list goes on and on.
Here I've identified some "particular problems". What "specific solution" and action do YOU suggest someone (we) take to effectively address ANY of the above cited root issues?
My point is you do not see the breadth and depth of the problem, and hence don't recognize you are powerless to effect "the profound and pervasive transormations required" to remedy crime, regardless of any good intentions.
Island Ed says:
betrays a lack of understanding of the scope of the issue, and the profound and pervasive transormations required to to create realistic hope for a better world. "
This is correct. The roots of the problem run very deep, and most people would not want to give up the things they would need to sacrifice in order to effect real change. For example, much of TV is morally corrupt, along with music, magazines, and a large portion of what is considered to be "entertainment."
Can you see this community boycotting TV stations in order to have them reduce the number of violent shows? NOT.
How about not buying music that includes foul lyrics...NOT.
Trivial examples, yes, but you get the idea.
In order to effect a significant change in the behavior of criminals here, the majority of whom tend to be young men between the ages of 11 and 30, they would have to be removed from their homes at the age of eight and sent to a regimented facility where they would be taught how to function in a civilized society. Obviously their parents aren't doing it.
Interesting observations Tourist Trap! So, if good values are not being inbedding at home, are they getting them from School? Their Chuches? Their Communities? Their Work? Obviously not. You're beginning to see the scope of the issue.
Alright, so let's get back to something serious. Where should I pack my Neat Sheets and Tevas when I come down?
Powerless? Then you have already failed.
Breath & depth (do you really talk like that?).
Let's get back to the point....crime.
It's there (and everywhere else).
Break apart the "Crime Problem" into it's pieces...as you did....and try to solve each piece.
“YOUTHS Claim Boredom Is Main Cause of Juvenile Crime,” declared a leading British newspaper.
How about programs being developed to occupy (as well as educate) youths. (Boys & Girls Clubs, scouting, church youth groups, after school activities, etc.) It won't solve everything, but it's a start.
....and as your list goes on so do solutions.
Look, I'm not trying to continue an argument......I'm tired of seeing people constantly complaining about crime in the VIs without ever lifting a finger to do anything about it. While it's true I'm not a full time resident and I do not hold a VI driver's license, I do care about what happens there....and yes, when we're there we will try to make a difference in any (small) way that we can.
In my honest opinion, I thought this was a relocation board for people relocating to the beautiful Virgin Islands.
I myself would love to hear anything and everything (the good and the bad) about the islands, but to keep reading a never ending fight saddens me.
Please see that thier are different OPINIONS, and kiss and make up already.
Most of the posts are friendly and happy and also very helpful, but this one in my opinion is hurtful and rude. Please don't get mad at me for posting my OPINION, I just want the HAPPY board back.
Might be time to kill this thread?
That is very interesting feedback.
I'm powerless to stop a speeding locomotive by standing in front of it. Have I already failed if I don't try?
Yes, some of us have a better grasp of vocabulary and actually use words like breadth and depth.
I'm not trying to argue with you in the sense you implied, but pleading with you to consider the larger perspective of the issue.
Should we put our hope in the various youth programs you mentioned to solve that specific problem? Do they have the capacity to help ALL young people? Why not? Really, how measurably successful have they been?
Your vague promise to "try to make a difference" is, while well in tentioned, insufficient against the sheer magnitude of the problem. What you offer is not a "solution" (such as you are scolding others to make), it is not enough, and it is not realistic to make things better. If you are inferring that if everyone were to do small things to try and make a difference, then the cumulative effect would solve the crime problem is an invalid proposition because you would still be an order of magnitude away from a solution.
The evidence I reported suggests the problem will not be solved even if those with good intentions trys making a "difference in a small way", but will require global sweeping reforms that reach down to the heart of every individual and that will change their principles and values, yes their very personality. Anything less rings hollow, because it has already been tried and we can see the limited results.
Also, it seems contradictory that you are complaining that people are complaining about crime? What is wrong with complaining when by definition, it can be to express grief, pain, or discontent? Isn't the suffering, grief and pain caused by crime something to be discontent with? Please don't lack the compassion to feel for them when they express their fear, anxiety and worry about crime?
Some things can't be fixed as easily as you suggest. While I'd love to explore this further with you, it may be better to take this offline.
ASEMOVE and Island Ed....
To tell you the truth, I was afraid to comment on this post not knowing the reaction I might encounter. You both, however have made mature efforts to put the board back to relocation.
I thank you both very much for your help in this matter.
It was a good exchange of ideas and feelings.
Thank you for your insight.
Yes, some of us have strong feelings about such serious matters...and we are not fighting (really).