Junior Minister of Trade and Investment, and Eighth District Representative Hon. Marlon Penn announced that by turning a blind eye to small crimes, greater offences will be perpetrated and as such the Legislator has called on residents to work to prevent the BVI from becoming a lawless society.
Hon. Penn made the comment during a meeting that was held by the East End & Long Look Consultative Committee last week. The Legislator who warned that crime in any form should not be entertained said: “The key here is in enforcement; letting them know the penalties that they will get for not following the rules…Help the police to enforce the laws.”
“It seems to be recklessness, everyone seems to be getting away with anything…It’s one of the biggest issues; we have lots of laws on the books…It seems acceptable for not wearing helmet, to weave in and out of traffic… No one seems to be getting penalized for bad behaviour…So it’s not about making new laws, it’s enforcement,” he noted..
The Junior Minister explained that allowing small offences to slip by will cause perpetrators to attempt more dangerous and daring acts: “I am a firm believer that small crimes breed all these additional crimes that we see happening and it is important for us as a community to nip all these issues in the bud before they start to…like the gun crimes among our young people. It starts from getting away with a lot of small incidences,” Hon. Penn said.
“We have to find a way to engage our young people at an early stage so that it does not get to the point where you seem to have a lawless society…,” he added.
The Legislator’s announcement was corroborated by Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Matthews who was also a speaker at the meeting. Commissioner Matthews said: “I agree…if the young people are being allowed to go about in a lawless fashion and believe that the law does not apply to them, then they will continue to break the law and it will get more and more serious, and then they end up in prison.”
The RVIPF Commissioner added, “I have spoken to some of the young men in prison and they don’t want to be there, but that is the end of the line for breaking the law.”