It is abundantly clear that the Virgin Islands has a crisis on their hands when it comes to crime as we saw last weekend during Carnival. To offer a comparison, the town I grew up in had a similar population and size as the Territory. The difference is that there have only been 4 murders in the past 30 years. And the majority of crimes are the results of bored teenagers committing minor acts of vandalizing.
Comparing a place in the states to the Virgin Islands admittedly is not entirely fair for a number of reasons. However, it would be nice if the Virgin Islands could learn from places that maintain such low crime rates.
One of the fundamental differences is the way crime is treated between the two places. In the Virgin Islands, it seems as if the Police wait for a crime to happen and respond instead of working to holistically prevent crime from happening in the first place.
An example of this is lackadaisical policing occurred to me last week. A car hit me while I walked on the sidewalk in Red Hook. The car was a pale green SUV with the license plates TDQ 852. The driver of the car then had the audacity to get out of his car to yell at me and push me for being in his way. He soon discovered that I wasn't going to back down from my rights as a pedestrian and got in his car and fled the scene as I called the Police to report the incident.
However, I was surprised when learned I would have to come into a Police Station on the other side of the Island to file a police report. This is ass backwards. In rational places, the Police come to the scene of a crime to file a police report. By doing so, they are serving the community by not only addressing the underlying crime, but also by showing they are a presence in the community by taking the concerns of the citizens seriously.
This isn't the only example of the local police not following through with criminal complaints. I have heard friends and co-workers discuss how issues of their personal safety and protection of personal property falls on deaf ears.
I don't think this letter is asking too much. All it is asking is that the Police fulfill their obligation to the community to protect and to serve. By doing so, some crimes will be deterred because criminals will know that the police are taking an active role in crime prevention as opposed to their current wait and see approach. This would be a good first step in bring down the crime rate.
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