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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Combating crime through fighting drugs and creating employment


One of the fundamental pillars for the thriving of any society is the guarantee of security and protection for each and everyone. Many people deposit their hard earned money in banks for fear of being robbed which makes it  even more alarming when those cash safe houses are being targeted and prove to be relatively insecure.


This dreadful phenomenon is nothing new in other countries but very novel in the territorial confines of The Gambia. There have been robberies of banks before but broad daylight armed robbery is almost unheard of. Crime such as this one should not be seen as any one crime amongst many that end up in a court of law, but should be seen to serve as an eye opener for the need this country has in protecting its much envied peace and security.


However, understanding the underlying cause of crimes helps a lot in curbing them and neutralising the potential harm in the process. Many a time, when we look at crimes, whether organised or unorganised, they all fall under the broad categories of drug abuse and unemployment. At the root of it are ills that are so intricately linked to the fabric of society that to solve them, all hands in the society must be on deck. They should not be condemned with the wave of a hand as nothing but the stubbornness of youth or something close to that but to be treated as a problem that requires attention and a solution.


One of the major causes for crime around the world is the abuse of drugs and narcotics. These substances that many of the youthful population are now using are perhaps the biggest proponents of crime. If someone is addicted to drugs with the attendant psychological impacts, s/he needs to support this habit by any means necessary. Because addictions are such that they must be fed; for cravings do not leave their victims at ease until they are satisfied.  So in trying to feed the addiction, whiles you have no legal means to do that, the logical conclusion is basically to embark upon illegal means such as robbery to satisfying those wanton desires. So in combating crime there should be concerted effort to fight drugs.


The Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia, which was commissioned into being by an act of parliament has since its inception done a lot to put drug abuse to a halt. Showing ultimately that the government has since made it part of their major goals for the development of the country, to fight substance and narcotic abuse. The agency has overtime shown that this is going to be no easy battle; with the mass seizures of varieties of drugs, from Cannabis to Cocaine, the war on drugs has proven that Gambia is no drug free haven. So in fighting crime, we must complement the major players in the war on drugs and not only that, we must take personal responsibility in educating the younger ones of the harms of drug abuse and how it leads to a violent and corrupt society that’s unfit for the habitation of decent human beings.


Another very powerful catalyst of crime is the problem of unemployment. We have reiterated this issue in many past editorials. At the core of many crimes and drug problems is the lack of employment. Employment generates a healthy environment wherein people are engaged in developing themselves and their immediate society. But when the masses of young people who are annually graduating from the university and tertiary institutions find themselves with no meaningful employment or are trapped in severe underemployment, coupled with the societal stigma that comes with that, the only option left with them at most times is to venture into substance abuse or embark on the risky ‘backway’ journey to Italy.


However this is not meant to say that people have no ethical and moral responsibility to act decently in society. The fact remains that all citizens in any given country must abide by the laws and should never be driven by any form of need to use weapons and threats to get what they want. Living in a society requires every person to live by the highest ethical standards, thereby making it possible to coexist in peace and harmony.


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