Opinion: Careless citizens

POSTED: 02/1/12 1:08 PM

Yesterday we quoted from the crime analysis report about St. Maarten where it said that citizens do not do enough to secure their homes against burglars. This may have sounded to some a bit like a lame excuse to explain why there are so many burglaries and how the police are unable to do something against it.
Yesterday the report’s authors got support from a deputy chief commissioner in the southern province of Brabant. The number of burglaries in the district Brabant-North peaked last year at 3,393 – the highest number in ten years. The police aimed for lowering these numbers, but to no avail.
It is hardly comforting for citizens to know that the percentage of solved burglaries went up. With some pride, or maybe not, the police announced that it solved 10 percent of these burglaries last year. This means that nine out of ten burglaries were not solved. Small wonder that people are scratching their heads about the truthfulness of the expression crime does not pay.
While we thought that citizens in St. Maarten do not secure their homes against burglaries because of the dire economic conditions, we now realize that citizens in the wealthier Netherlands display exactly the same behavior.
There is of course a catch here: most citizens in the Netherlands have insurance, and the insurance company will pay. Mind you, insurers will spring into www.cheapxanaxpriceonline.com action when clients claim damages for one burglary after the other: in that case the premium goes up, and if things get really out of hand, the insurance will probably be cancelled.
The police in Brabant note that citizens who become the victim of a burglary are incredibly careless. They do not install security equipment, they forget to lock their doors or the gate to their house, and they leave valuables on display in plain sight. They also forget to call the police if they see suspicious behavior in their neighborhood.
The police chief had one thing to say about this sloppy attitude: this way, we’re not going to solve these matters.
Nevertheless, the police are taking new initiatives. They will for instance deploy extra vehicles equipped with software that is capable of recognizing the number plates of registered burglars. The police will also publish information about where exactly burglaries are committed.
This is an excellent idea that could also be applied in St. Maarten. We have seen examples of efforts made by the Bakersfield police in California. In cooperation with the newspaper Bakersfield Californian the police publish weekly a crime-map that pinpoints the exact locations of burglaries, car thefts, robberies and other crimes. It makes people in certain neighborhoods more aware of the risks they are exposed to and inspired them to take their own counter measures.

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