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Thursday, December 06, 2007

It is time to take our community back

Recently the City of Hamilton (Bermuda) saw the staging of a public demonstration and rally which was organized by the parents of the murder victims, who are yet to see the perpetrators of their children’s murders be brought to justice. While speaking to member of the community, I discovered that most of them are confident that there are members of the community with sound and relevant information, which may lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of these senseless murders.

It was also brought to my attention, that the individuals who have pertinent information, that could be of evidential value and which may ensure the victim’s families gain the closure they are looking for, are afraid of retaliation. Daily these families are made to relive the horrific and traumatizing experiences and they will do so until justice is done.

Fear is never a justified reason to cause or aid in the miscarriage of justice. Every one that resides in this tranquil community needs to be courageous. We must not only remember, but we must also remind each other of our civic responsibilities which should be perform with a sense of pride. It is also important for everyone who resides in Bermuda to understand that courage is not the absence of fear but it is the willingness to act even when you are afraid. If we use fear to allow an offender to evade prosecution whether it is for the offence of murder or for an offence of a less serious nature, we are only empowering the criminals. We are giving them permission to up the ante and to raise the stakes.

If you think what you are experiencing now is fear, you will mess yourself if this problem is allowed to get out of control, as it has in some countries. I have been to countries and I have spoken to people, where the community has empowered the criminals in the name of fear. Today these criminal commit murders in plain view of members of the public, with no effort to conceal their identity; yet they have the assurance, that no one who witnessed the gruesome murders has the courage to aid in their arrest and/or conviction.

All in all, Bermuda is a still a very safe community, which has not been blighted with the amount and the degree of criminal activities that is synonymous with many other jurisdictions. Yet I can see the potential for things to get out of control. It will be a shame if the citizens and residents of this tiny island are made to live in a petrified state.

Now I am lead to ask the following questions. Is it fear or is it indifference that has taking over the members of the community? Could it be that the community no longer cares and we have stop being his brother’s keeper? Have we adopted the “it’s not my business” mentality? For the sake of this little island, I hope not.

In service to Humanity

Allan H. F. Palmer