THE injury suffered by a police officer yesterday brings home the reality of the dangers that our law enforcement officials face on the streets every day.
On a simple patrol, officers flashed their lights for a vehicle to stop – only for a passenger in that vehicle to open fire, with one officer being struck in the face.
The officer was rushed to hospital, and is thankfully in stable condition – but what callous criminals are so ready to pull a gun and open fire on our officers?
How can there be people on our streets so ready to harm police officers as they go about their work of protecting the public?
Bear in mind there will be people who will defend the person who pulled that trigger. There will be people who make excuses for them, who claim that they are good at heart, who will perhaps shelter them rather than report them for owning that gun in the first place.
Three people were detained after an island-wide manhunt following the shooting – but let us not pretend that these are the only such criminals who exhibit such behaviour.
By failing to turn this kind of violent offender to the police, those of us who know about the illegal guns, about the crimes these people commit, about the violence that they spread, permit such behaviour to grow.
There should be no place for such a person. If they have a gun, they do not bring it under your roof. If they have drugs, they are not to be tolerated. If they wish to commit crimes, they cannot expect you to lie for them and protect them.
We often hear police officers talk about zero tolerance policies – we need zero tolerance as a society for such behaviour.
Any individual willing to raise a gun and open fire on the police has no place in that society. No shelter. No destination other than the inside of a prison cell. It should be undeniable in that person’s mind what the outcome of such an action should be.
Our officers should not have to face such danger or the risk of it every time they step out onto our streets.
But it is on us as a society to say no. To say there is no room for such actions. And that there will be no tolerance for those who would dare to raise a gun and fire on an officer of the law.
In this column, we have often called for action by government, action by officials, action by police officers – but we need to act as members of society, and leave no doubt that this kind of action is beyond acceptable.
We send our prayers to the recovering officer.
Not all good ideas are obvious ones.
What began as a measure for working around COVID has turned into a system that Straw Market vendors would like to keep going.
During COVID, shifts were organised so different vendors were open on different days and different hours at the market in the Downtown area. It kept people spaced out – but as it turns out, it helped money flow a little better too.
Having gone back to the old ways with the rotation system scrapped, some vendors are struggling to make as much money – because suddenly things are too crowded and there are too many vendors all at once competing for the money of visitors passing through.
Some of the vendors would like to go back to the old way. After all, if that was working, why change it?
We do hope that the government will listen to the vendors and find a system that benefits all. But start by listening – after all, no one knows the vendors’ business better than they do themselves.