Touria Prayag's Blog

Giving credit where it is due 21 November 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

After hunting the gang which had terrorized
the country for months, the police have fi –
nally nabbed what they believe – and we
hope – are its members. It took time. Weekly
blew the lid off this gang and exposed its
modus operandi in May. We had named it
the Rolex gang because it went for luxury
watches and jewellery. That was six months
ago. Six months of a deep sense of insecurity
can have long-lasting consequences on
people’s psyche and affect the crime statistics
in a signifi cant way.
If we were as cynical as we are accused of
being, our reaction to the police’s achievement
would be: “High b*** time!” as the arrests
did not come a minute too soon. But we choose
to say: “Congratulations! Better late than
never.” The police have fi nally put their act
together and given a fi ne example of what they
can achieve when the different police units
work together.
We keep coming down hard on the police.
We are the fi rst to recognise that and we are
happy to shower a bit of praise when deserved.
So, we don’t really want to rain on
their parade. However, we cannot help asking
ourselves two major questions: First, if the
gang they caught is the only one that was out
there or there are others which will continue
to perpetuate the sentiment of insecurity
which has been pervading the island these
last few months, eventually making its way
into our national assembly. Having followed
the different acts of robbery since we came
out with the story, it seems to us that there
are at least two modi operandi that characterise
the recent robberies. The police – perhaps
for reasons we can understand – have
not given us a convincing reason to believe
that our woes are over. We do hope, however,
that they do not lower their guard and
that they act in a proactive way.
Secondly, now that the police have done their
job, what will happen to the members of the/
(the?) gang? Last time another gang was
caught – after weeks of visiting houses in Black
River and making away with valuables and
– worse – fi rearms, its members refused to say
where the loot was, their lawyers were quick
to highlight their clients’ constitutional right
to silence, they were released on bail and we
never heard of them again. This must have
been very discouraging for the police. As we
speak, these gang members are probably out
there looting again. And they are armed.
Security is as important to our people and our
tourist industry as our other three Ss: Sun,
Sea and Sand. It has to be a constant major
concern. Nabbing criminals is a good start.
Putting them in jail is hardly any punishment
if their loot is not recovered and – more importantly
– those who were buying their stolen
goods, thus encouraging their looting, are not
brought to book. If all the money they have
been stashing away is now safe in a foreign
bank account, what will a few months in jail
change? As for the hundreds of victims, their
arrest alone is meagre consolation.
weekly@lasentinelle.mu

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