During the Tuesday, 30th November edition of his radio programme, “Ask the PM”, Dr. Douglas said that the beginning stages of a breakdown of law and order manifest when individuals abandon behavioural standards.
It is in the context of the fast-approaching 2010-2011 Carnival Season that Prime Minister Douglas advised each individual to, amidst all the reveling and enjoyment which is associated with the Carnival Season, “show some personal and behavioural restraint (and) do not abandon all traces of respect for self and, of course, respect for others.”
“This is important because there is a connection between precisely these types of issues and seemingly unrelated issues of law and order violence and criminality. Throughout the Caribbean and the world, it is understood that a rise in crime is often directly linked to a broader societal abandonment of previously honoured behavioral standards. When people become accustomed to ignoring the small decencies within their own families and communities for example, it then becomes far easier for the major decencies and behaviours to be violated as well. And this we know as crime.”
Dr. Douglas warned that certain types of behaviour including those which endanger to health of children, are frowned upon, must be discontinued and will not be tolerated.
“So let us be basic here and let us be very clear; leaving children alone at night during carnival or at any other time of the year and going out to supposedly enjoy life constitutes bad parenting. It is dangerous; it engenders the child’s emotional and physical safety. And this is not good at all for any society. This awareness must be reflected in our own lives…but we must also demand that our relatives and neighbours break this habit even where it exists as well.
“Importantly, this problem is also not solved by taking babies and young children to Carnival Village until all hours of the night. This too is both inappropriate and it is of course highly irresponsible. Good parenting requires sacrifice and when sacrifices are made, the children benefit, the society…benefits and the sacrificing parents, in the long run, also stand to benefit. Anyone who is not ready to make the sacrifices that parenthood involves should therefore take every precaution to not become parents. And this caution too we must stress whenever we are in a position to influence the young.”
Other behaviours which Dr. Douglas says must be discontinued, frowned upon, strongly discouraged and even reported are the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and young parents who walk alongside large and loud speakers while carrying their babies and young children.
“This of course I want to say must stop…Looking away when so-called minor wrongs are occurring before our very eyes…carnival or no carnival…and then wailing when far more egregious infractions occur elsewhere in society is simply no longer an option,” Douglas noted.