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Stop turning a blind eye

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Stop turning a blind eye

by Esther Lewis
15 Aug 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

MYTH: Crime is not my problem. Fact: As a community, we are letting ourselves down.

I received a phone call today. The voice on the other end told me their premises had been broken into. Equipment worth tens of thousands had been carried off in broad daylight.

As usual, nobody saw or heard anything. This is not an isolated incident; it happens way too often to keep score of all victims of this horrendous thing called crime.

I came home one night only to hear my neighbour's home had been burgled. The crooks walked away with television sets, a fridge and all the meat in it. All this on a sunny afternoon when most people were outside, sipping juice in their gardens. Nobody saw a thing.

But how on earth do you NOT see a fridge being dragged down the road?

When there's a lover's quarrel, everyone comes outside to see the action. When there's an accident, people run for their cameras and reach for their phones. When someone is being evicted, the entire neighbourhood comes out to gawk.

If there's a certain man's car that visits a certain married woman's house at the same time each day everyone - except, perhaps, the unsuspecting husband - knows the ins and outs of that mystery visitor.

Why does this mentality not carry over when it comes to crime? As the voice on the other end of the line told me, it's not outsiders stealing from us, it's our own people. Yet we do nothing to stop them.

Don't get me wrong, I don't condone vigilantness. But the thought of someone taking without a second thought what I have worked so hard to pay for infuriates me.

You can count on the fact that if you steal from me - even if we were related - I will report you. I have done so in the past, and I will not hesitate to do it again. I did not get my things back. I did not take a baseball bat to his knees either.

But it felt good when I saw the look in his eyes after the police questioned him. I got back at him in the way that probably hurt him more than physical pain. But hey, after that day he never took a thing from me again!

And while mothers may find it hard to turn in their own children, it's something that has to be done.

To the mothers of these criminals: How many times are you going to allow your child to steal your appliances? How many times are you going to allow your child to steal the money from your purse? How many times will you let your child make life difficult for other people before you take action?

Will you wait until your child gets caught and sent to jail? Will you wait until your child has the blood of an innocent victim on his hands?

Or will you act once your child gets beaten to within an inch of his life because someone has decided enough is enough?

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