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The Editor speaks: What a start to 2015!

Colin Wilsonweb2015 has only just started and we already have 2 shootings in which one young man died and a horrific one man car crash where the driver was killed. The vehicle was enveloped in flames with the man still behind the wheel.

Witnesses to the shooting of the dead man, who was shot in a car park of a restaurant, have not come forward despite urgent police appeals.

We have a Cuban migrant drowning after the flimsy makeshift boat he was in with three others capsized.

We have burglaries, one at my house and another next door. The one at my house took part with two of my tenants asleep in the same room the thief was helping himself to their valuables.

And luck was on their side. I say ‘their’ as there had to be at least two of them because the only window that was accessible was a small one at high level serving a bathroom and the thieves left behind a two rung rusty old step ladder where presumably one hoisted his accomplice up to the window. And the luck they got was because our 75 lb German Shepherd guard dog was inside the house upstairs frightened by the festive firecrackers that had been going off for the past six nights.

Sugar (by name but not by nature to strangers) patrols our grounds. To date he has warded off five attempts over the past ten years of breaking’s with twice the robbers leaving behind bags of loot they had stolen elsewhere as Sugar has attacked them.

If you scumbags like to come back Sugar is now waiting for you!!

And what can we do to help stop this New Year’s wave of violence and robberies?

The very first rule is, if you have any information, no matter how trivial it might be, or you are frightened because you know the shooter, you MUST tell the police or use TIPS. Give the police a lead. They cannot do it on their own and by keeping silent you are allowing someone else to become a victim and that someone else may even be you.

Yes, I have been dismayed by the way some of the police have behaved. The trivial traffic ticketing, the arrogant manner of some of the officers, is still no excuse for silence if you have information. And I am saying this after an officer made my wife (Joan) move her car on Christmas morning where she has parked on a slab of concrete for the past 15 years by the Port Authority building when she has attended Elmslie Memorial Church. That she is 80, has a bad foot, and the church car park was full made no difference. Move or get a ticket and your car towed away. Joan moved her car. After the church service the slab of concrete was still vacant. The officer can make no excuse he didn’t know her age or condition as she bluntly told him so and that she was the daughter of Major Roddy Watler! (Major Watler was Chief of Police for 33 years here during and after the Second World War.) The officer said he had never heard of him. He does now!!! The point is he should have helped her find somewhere else to park if this precious slab of concrete could not be used. Christmas and its meaning had passed this officer by. I believe Joan said the officer’s name was Scrooge. I hope Marley’s ghost will come and haunt him.

My first reaction to the two shootings that happened in West Bay was to compare the district to Dodge City and wanted to suggest we hire someone like Wyatt Earp together with his brothers to clean the town up!

However, hat would not have been a good idea.

Look what has happened in the USA when they decided to clean up drugs.

Police forces there have become armies blessed with short-barreled assault rifles and armoured vehicles—indistinguishable from soldiers.

They even wear camouflaged fatigues, have grenade launchers, and it has been reported that police in Watertown, Connecticut, (population 22,514) recently acquired a mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle designed to protect soldiers from roadside bombs, even though there has never ever been a roadside bomb there!

The reason for all this is because in 1990 there was perceived a worsening drug crisis and the National Defense Authorization Act was enacted allowing arms and ammunitions excess to the needs of the Department of Defense to go to the police forces that wanted them. Most did.

None of this made one bit of difference to cleaning up the drug problem but has set the previous neighbourhood ‘friendly’ police watchdog as now a perceived threat to the public of their individual rights in the ‘land of the free’. It is almost as if there are two sides and each view the other as the enemy. And that does not even touch on race and/or colour.

We are not helping ourselves here if we go down that road and legislate our police force to be armed. We are not helping ourselves with claiming it is all the fault of the Commissioner of Police because we have no confidence in him.  We, therefore, won’t tell on the bad guys. When we have that mentality we are siding with the scumbags in our society.

Police, please stop this mentality of throwing the book at the motorist for every trivial infraction so as to make the statistics look good and bragging about how effective your latest holiday traffic campaign with a silly name is. It is the motorist that normally is the first point of  contact with police. Being arrogant,
pompous and not ready to listen will not make a good impression. There has to be co-operation on both sides. When the public can see there is more concentration by the police on the things that matter most, our protection from the rats that inhabit the sewers in our country, then there will be more trust and a willingness to come forward with information. Then the police will have the ammunition they need to flush the vermin out and be rid of them.

The start to 2015 has been horrendous – it must not be a precedent for things to come.

PS. And please spare us from anymore of those traffic stats!!



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