Understanding the Law
March 18, 2005
A crime free society – Is this possible?

Crimes, especially heinous (wicked) crimes always cause public outcry. They affect our sensibility and remind us of our own frailty and mortality. We speculate as to the causes at the time of the occurrences.

Perhaps we need some in-depth psychological evaluation of our society, a thorough overhaul of the family, the school and the community, all of which impact on the individual. {{more}}

One Internet website www.faculty.ncwc.edu on Criminology gives as many as sixty-seven different causes of crime but all may not be relevant to our society. If we identify the causes then we may be able to find some solutions. Ours is a small and homogeneous society where everyone knows the other person or some relation of the other person. We have the same religious beliefs, culture and history. These are binding, not divisive forces. If we all subscribe to these, why are there so many senseless crimes?

Can nature (heredity) or nurture (environment) explain crimes? It may be said from the onset that scientists have not been able to locate a gene or group of genes with responsibility for criminal behaviour. A U.S.A-based grand genome project, started in 1990, had the ambitious task of identifying the 20,000 to 25,000 genes in the human body. It reported its findings in 2003, but there is however more to be done. Nonetheless genes have had some influences on human behaviour. We cannot rule out the fact that heredity influences temperament. You may have noticed the differences immediately in the temperament of new born babies. There are some who are restless and others who are calm or in between. Temperament endures (Myers, 2004). It would however help if restless children are channeled in the right direction and good personalities are fostered.

The environment holds many challenges for the individual but good parenting could help to provide the individual with the basics for life. Good parenting is of extreme importance. This important role is sometimes left to chance. Many parents have good intentions but are unprepared for the rigours of child rearing.

We sometimes adopt the same techniques that our parents used as we recall our own childhood. This is a far more challenging world than that of our parents. Many might be able to visit websites on the Internet that deal with good parenting but there is a need to find ways and means to reach out to many parents who do not have computers. Perhaps we can utilize the radio and television to provide some useful messages to parents about child rearing.

There is no doubt of the need for setting a good foundation in the formative years of a child. The world impacts heavily on the young. A child needs the love, security and protection of supporting parents, relatives and friends to build up his/her self esteem. A child could be drawn into a vicious cycle later in life if he is abused or is the victim of aggression. Parents therefore have a responsibility to know what goes on in the lives of their children.

Neglected children always get up to their own devices. They sometimes turn to television and their peers where they learn about drugs and other negative influences. We need to save our children/young people, give them a good life and help them to grow up to be responsible, well adjusted, nonviolent, caring and loving citizens.

Many of the killings that occur in SVG appear to be associated with anger and lack of self control. A heated argument between two persons ends with the death of one. One person loses his temper and a weapon is available. If we were to look back to the offender’s childhood, one is likely to find evidence of insecurity, abuse, anger or aggression. These persons could have been helped, and a crime prevented, if the problems were identified early and anger management was done. There have been four killings already for the year in SVG. These appear to result from heated arguments and loss of self control. They have all been committed by males in their early thirties. There is a need to provide help for persons with problems relating to anger.