Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Every right thinking member of society must want the Government to succeed in its war against the criminal elements in our society. And make no mistake: it is a war. There are many who have been calling for a state of emergency ("SOE") to be declared for just this purpose and there are great expectations that the criminal elements will finally be brought to heel. But will they? It is difficult to say at this time. I certainly hope so ... but hoping just ain't good enough!

Let me explain what I mean: The way that this SOE was declared was ... well, unusual, to say the least. SOE's are never usually declared in advance. They are usually declared quietly and when they are in force the Government then moves to pick up and detain those persons who are considered a threat to the society for whatever reason (planning a coup, crime, etc.). If an SOE is announced well before it come s into effect, that announcement will give time to the very persons who are targets of the SOE to run and hide.

Remember that the declaration of an SOE is an extermely serious thing. An SOE takes away certain fundamental constitutional rights that the citizenry has against dictatorship and virtually allows a Government (any Government) untrammeled access to powers of arrest and detention without access to the Courts. While it is sometimes necessary for a Government in times of peril to declare an SOE that declaration needs to be very carefully thought out and the SOE needs to be very carefully executed and removed as soon as possible.

So, my question is what exactly happened to cause this SOE to be declared? The second question is why was it declared in advance of it taking effect? I will readily admit that there may be another reason, or even several other reasons, but I can only think of two: The first is that there was a sudden and unexpected security threat that could only be met by the declaring of an SOE. This is possible, and it may also explain why the whole thing was handled in such an apparently rushed way. (More on this point later.) It could also explain why this happened when the Commissioner of Police and his deputy were out of the country! (That point in itself is curious too, don't you think?)

The next possibility is that it was done by "vaps". Eleven murders took place in a very short space of time and the Government panicked. This could also explain the rather haphazard way that the whole thing was presented. But then surely Brigadier Sandy should have known better?

Now, most democratic Governments have (or ought to have) contingency plans in place for just about every type of emergency, including (though not limited to) declaing an SOE. It would be disheartening to learn that such a contingency plan did not exist, and I for one would like to believe otherwise. But if it did exist, why was the SOE declared in the way that it was? That did not make sense at all!

The expectation of the population is that crime will drop radically after this (assuming always that it really was done to declare war on the criminals); but if that is going to be the case then it was reasonable to expect that (a) there would be massive arrests of known gang leaders and gang members, and (b) that there would be massive searches in the designated hotspots which would yield massive seizures of arms and ammunition. But neither has happened yet! And at the time of writing the SOE is almost 48 hours old! Usually the significant arrests and seizures are made almost immediately after the SOE comes into force! Everything after that is what might be called "mopping up" operations.

So? What has happened? Please don't get me wrong. I want this SOE to work. I want the criminals caught and put under lock and key. I do not want the Government to fail on this. You see, if after the SOE is lifted crime simply goes right back to where it was before then we will be in a worse position than we were in before the SOE was declared. It will mean that the SOE was totally ineffective and that the bad guys were able to outsmart the good guys. It will also mean that the Government has run out of effective means of controlling the criminals in this country. I honestly and sincerely hope that the Government wins this fight. It has to! There is obviously no "Plan B". And that can't be good for any of us.

1 comment:

  1. The Commissioner of Police left the country a mere three days before the declaration of the state of emergency. So he knew nothing about it. It would seem therefore, that the SOE was a POLITICAL measure and not one demanded by the security forces. So it would appear that it was not just a Vaps, it was to appear that the "Government" was "doing somethig" about an apparent run away situation.

    Also, what happens after the SOE? Everything goes back to normal. Or is it that this Government thinks that a state of emergency is the only wa y of dealing with crime? So will they extend this indefinitely?

    It is clear that there is/was no plan. You let both your top cops leave the country then you decide to act. What an odd thing to do.Then you annouce to the people what you have done before the President has signed off, saying a "limited" satate of emergency when in fact it is not so. You then publish an order for the curfew before the acting commissioner is appointed.

    It smacks not only of people who dont know what they are doing but also people who dont care if they act outside the law. A very dangerous trend.