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Within recent days both the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition, and Georgetown Chamber of Commerce have spoken out against increasing crime in society. The Guyana Police Force sought to assure society crime is down. The basic definition for crime is breaking the law. The recent spate of larcenies and killings are of concern and in society where these crimes could get out of hand, or perceived to be tolerated, Guyanese are understandably nervous. Crime has been a scourge in Guyana.
The attention is often given to the crime of the ordinary man as against those in government and the upper echelon of society. To the extent where there is attention to one at the exclusion of the others is not good for Guyana. There is often the reference to seeing crime as the blue and white collar. The difference between the two is well explained by Notre Dame College. Blue collar crime is seen as “…violent acts, such as murder, sexual assault and armed robbery. It also includes non-violent crime such as prostitution, illegal gambling and more, [and these] crimes are often easier to detect, have a clear victim and are without a doubt illegal to those observing the action.”
In the case of white collar, these “…crimes consist of a range of criminal actions committed by government and business professionals. Typically, white-collar criminals don’t rely on violence or weapons. Instead, they commit crimes using internet browsers, bookkeeping software, or even their own reputations. White-collar crimes include mortgage fraud, embezzlement, election law violations and healthcare fraud, [and] oftentimes,…remain undetected as it’s not clear to onlookers that a crime is being committed. The illegal acts can sometimes appear as part of someone’s average work day.”
Society should feel disgusted with those engaged in criminal acts and require justice to be served. No one crime is more or less acceptable than the other, they are equally bad and according to the judicial system befitting of prescribed justice once guilt is ascertained. No category of criminal should have protection for their criminal behaviour but only the guarantee justice under the law shall be served. A law-abiding society can ill afford to look down its nose on the blue-collar criminal but condone or excuse the white collar because such duplicity only emboldened the latter to hurt the system of government and deprive the people.
Then there is the most insidious crime, i.e. corruption, which Transparency International (TI) terms as “crime against society.” This form or crime, according to TI is “the abuse of power at the expense of the many, which perpetuates social injustice and the exploitation of the vulnerable: denial of healthcare, education, economic opportunity and justice, as well as preventing the holding to account of leaders for the theft of resources.” The watchdog agency goes further to highlight the insidious nature of this crime, pointing out it allows for “the denial of access to public services, to economic opportunity, to a voice and to justice– that it cannot be seen as anything but a criminal act of whom the victim is society at large.”
There ought to be condemnation and intolerance for all types of crimes. Those engage in criminal acts, irrespective of who they are, should hear the resounding call for justice to be served. Proper crime fighting is not selective but inclusive of judicial actions taken against any found culpable, regardless of their social, political, or economic influence or connection. Crime fighting must be universal and all-encompassing to rid society of this evil.