Address law, order issues

Editorial

THE warning to send those who appear in court charged with stealing, straight to Baisu Jail in Western Highlands, is a message to those in authority that there is a social breakdown in our society.
Despite the increase in penalty for summary offences being passed, it has done little to deter the crime of stealing.
The amendment to the Summary Offences Act (2017) was to reinforce law-and-order in the country, restore police confidence and deter offenders, and encourage the general public to formally lay their complaints to relevant law-enforcement authorities
Law and order is said to be on the rise in the country with everyone concerned working overtime to have it addressed.
Of particular concern is the crimes of stealing, mobile phone-grabbing and bag-snatching in the cities and town, committed at bus stops, markets and streets.
The so-called thug usually terrorises people and then steal from them.
Magistrate Lydia Karre, while sentencing a man to two months in Baisu jail with hard labour for stealing a mobile phone and K60, said so many stealing cases have come before her court.
As of Monday, she said anyone who steals within the city (Mt Hagen) and goes to her court will be sent straight to Baisu jail.
We concur with her.
The worry on the upsurge in stealing by means of snatching bags and pick pocketing at bus stops and on road sides in recent years has been raised by many other magistrates.
The only way to stop stealing is to actually impose tough penalties to such people so that it can be a lesson to others who are stealing from innocent people.
Realistically, it will not put a complete stop. But the penalty imposed on those caught we hope can be a lesson to others who are stealing from innocent people and deterrent to others not to commit such crimes.
If thievery has a hierarchy, stealing bags would probably be ranked in the middle which is serious.
And it is sad when such crimes are committed against the vulnerable in the society, old people, children and women.
In public, one can clearly see our women tightening their grip on their bags or purse pressing it towards their body. It is the fear of having their bag or purse snatched.
Why do our mothers, sisters and daughters have to walk with their head tilting to see who is walking up beside or behind them.
Any form of violence and in this instance, starts off with intimidation, against another is a crime.
All of us are guilty to different degrees, ranging from turning a blind eye to those crimes.
A society that does not protect the vulnerable is a failed society.
We all have to be watchful, protective, and speak out about what we know or observe.
Our only resort is the law and we must ensure the offenders are brought to justice and hope the courts for the most severe punishment allowed by law on them.

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