It is time for this nation to assert its right to live in peace and security in our own homes. Home invasions are an ugly reality that is becoming increasingly common, and it is untenable that we should ever begin to accept this as part of our norm.
Imagine the terror of being confronted in our own private space by criminals armed with knives, guns, or both. This phenomenon occurs more frequently under the cover of darkness, but it happens in full daylight too.
An unsuspecting family or individual can be suddenly faced by the stark fear of being robbed of their belongings and the great possibility that they will be physically assaulted too.
The fear and resulting psychological and physical trauma leave scars that run deep and are difficult, if not impossible, to erase.
It is not just and clearly untenable that we should live in a state of trembling because of the merciless attacks of individuals or gangs who have no respect for human life or the sanctity of the home.
No wall is high enough, no security cameras numerous enough and no alarm system effective enough to keep out determined criminals who prey on the wealthy and the ordinary wage-earner alike. Dogs are hardly a deterrent as their fierce barking does not deter bandits armed with poison or guns.
Detection rates are simply not high enough for any of us to find comfort or hope that this new reality will soon come to an end.
While it is the responsibility of our Police Service to find and apprehend the perpetrators of this reign of terror, it is imperative that our system of justice must ensure that suspected criminals are not allowed to exploit the bail system to quickly get back to the streets to pursue their ‘trade’ in blood and bodies and goods to which they clearly have no entitlement.
There can be no excuse, no justification whatsoever, regardless of a bandit’s personal circumstances, for attitudes and conduct that are wreaking havoc in our society and aggravating the distress that our beleaguered people are experiencing.
There are no easy answers, no easy solutions to this situation. Stable family life and the practice of ordinary values of respect for the lives of others and their property just do not seem to exist for criminals for whom many of us seem to be fair game.
Even when there is an attempt to place or keep the youth on a good footing, the influence of negative forces in the environment and the lure of ‘easy’ wealth negates the best efforts.
The global instability created by wars, the bullying of nations by stronger and increasingly ruthless, better armed and cruelly repressive other nations contribute to a mindset that encourages the criminally —minded to grab what they can when it is available, regardless of the cost to others or even to themselves.
The final straw would be a perhaps self-protective indifference to the impact of criminality on fellow citizens — an indifference that dissolves when we ourselves become the targets of this spree of crime.
Every segment of the society must assume the responsibility, as far as it is possible, to bring an end to a mentality and life choices that negate our humanity and take the practitioners closer and closer to spiritual destruction.
In our homes, schools, offices, working and social environments, there must be clearly defined, life-enhancing values that reflect the God who made us in His own likeness.
This is easier said than done but we are in a state that calls for desperate, sustainable action that must be supported by our churches and indeed by the State itself.
In the name of the Almighty, this call must reach every ear and every heart. Our lives, our civilisation, depend on that.