Home Opinion and Features Putting property before people leaves us all poorer

Putting property before people leaves us all poorer


The prevalence of crime, particularly in areas that were until recently considered to be the picture of suburban bliss, is justified cause for concern

Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. However, give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

The recent spate of crime in what used to be considered the quieter parts of Kimberley has left many a resident in a state of fear-induced paralysis where only the lips and the fingertips still function.

I have personally fallen victim to contact crime in our sleepy little city on two occasions over the last fortnight, but looking at many of the battered and broken bodies I have interviewed over this period, I would have to count myself comparatively lucky.

The prevalence of crime, particularly in areas that were until recently considered to be the picture of suburban bliss, is justified cause for concern.

That is not to say that some should be deprived of the right to feel safe and secure if their address doesn’t make the grade, but to believe that we always get what we deserve is more than a tad optimistic.

Crime is out of control everywhere but to award the affluent areas additional attention would likely be to the detriment of those living in parts that are less distinguished but equally entitled.

The trouble is that if social-ills are left to spread into areas that are not known to be hot spots for crime, it generally either means that that of the more traditional market for misconduct are saturated or that opportunities are unavoidable in the upmarket areas, or both.

Irrespective of where you reside, intensifying law enforcement and crime prevention efforts inevitably requires resources from somewhere, and that means either removing them from where they are currently serving a purpose or adding them to those that already exist, at tremendous expense to the taxpayer, particularly those from the quiet, peaceful suburbs, where the larneys live.

Even from behind devils’ fork fencing, many a resident lives in terror that what was once believed to be their very own impenetrable ivory tower has now become public property where anyone with an able body and selfish nature is free to come and go as they please.

Where there is a will, there’s a way and while reports of heinous crimes, amidst the lush green lawns and canopied avenues, naturally have us erecting higher fences, installing state-of-the-art security systems and stocking up on guns and ammo, these measures will, at best, serve as a deterrent but at worst, be used against us in our hour of peril.

The sad reality is that danger lurks behind every corner and we can never consider ourselves to be 100 percent safe, not even in the comfort of our own homes.

Yet, the omnipresent threat of the unpredictable and undesirable should not be allowed to make prisoners of the people as it is the bad guys that belong behind bars.

There is no shame in falling victim to crime but to allow fear of felons to dictate our movements means that we are letting the bad guys win.

Personally, I have no earthly possessions that are of such value that I’m willing to sacrifice my freedom of movement, in my own neighbourhood, just to preserve them.

I don’t own anything that is worth living nor dying for and the little I have can easily be taken away. The reality is that putting property before people, even if said people are perpetrators, leaves all of us poorer.