Everyone agrees that crime and criminal behaviour cannot be blamed solely on our political leaders. Crime affects everyone and must engage the entire community if it is to be resolved. Criminal activity impacts our economic and social life. Businesses live in fear that their profits, investment and employees will come under attack from assailants seeking to destabilise their well-being.
Our declining moral values as a society must be assessed if we are to combat the forces working against us. Civil society, the business community (including the private and public sector), the three branches of government, the religious community and others must work together in eradicating the criminal element among us. This much is true: Criminals cannot hide when everyone is watching.
This column is to encourage corporate leaders around the country to join the fight for a safer Bahamas, and a crime-free nation. That must be the goal. Other countries have done this successfully and we must not rest until the murder count goes down to zero, and until robberies, rapes, assaults and all other serious or minor infractions cease in our land. Here is what we must, and can, do:
- The workplace usually provides a captive audience for formal and informal training and learning to take place.
Matters pertaining to problem solving, workplace ethics, the moral code of conduct and conflict resolution should be addressed and reinforced often at work.
This advice serves as a preventive tip for companies seeking to hit at the ‘root’ of criminal activity. Employers have 40 hours each week to curb the culture of corruption in the lives of all they employee. Every effort in training, coaching and mentoring employees (particularly the young) must be geared towards steady, positive change.
- Sociologists and psychologists among us point to the breakdown in the Bahamian family for the lack of order and civility on the streets.
Businesses are encouraged, then, to focus on developing strong families. Husbands must be encouraged to be responsible fathers. A beautiful incentive for a stronger Bahamas, adopted by one local company, rewards good parents who support and feed the academic, musical, sporting and technical success of their children.
Employees must be discouraged from spending all of their hours and weekends in the workplace at the expense of their families. Start the ‘Go Home’ campaign in your office today.
- One of the corrective measures companies can employ is to embrace technological advances with the widespread use of surveillance equipment throughout inner-city communities.
The more camera systems recording throughout the day and evening, the more convictions we will have and, hopefully, deter others from criminal behaviour.
- Finally, companies can take more social responsibility by financially supporting programmes developed by churches and other civic organisations.
Sunday and Sabbath School Programmes, Boys and Girls Clubs, bands and choirs for children have proven successful in steering many in positive directions. A little funding in the purchase of equipment, instruments, materials, refreshments and anything else required by such programmes goes a long way in addressing these social ills.
• NB: Ian R. Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.