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Peter Abrahams on anti-crime measures - 1974

The excerpt below is taken from the June 10, 1974 edition of News Commentary, delivered by Peter Abrahams on RJR 94FM.

 

The past weekend has brought a couple of sharp reminders that gun crime is still very much with us, and that some of the lawless ones are again getting bold enough to come out of their hiding places.

And so, in order to cope with this resurgence in crime, sections of St. Andrew were again placed under curfew on Saturday night and joint police-military patrols were again out.

And this tells us quite simply that any talking or behaving as though the crime crisis is over and behind us is both premature and unwise.

The ugly thing which has been festering in the society for years is not going to go away overnight or in a few weeks or even a few months just because we now have a Suppression of Crime Law and a Gun Court and the dread Detention Camp.

Again and again, as they have done over this past weekend, the lawless ones are going to come out of their hiding places when things seem quiet and they are going to test the nerve and the will of the society.

It seems important that we do not forget this salient fact in all our debating of the pros and cons of the crime suppression measure.

And even more important, it seems to me, is that those in power should never forget that this suppression is only a stop-gap measure, and can only be justified ultimately if it is used to buy time to set other, socially remedial action in motion.


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