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Monday, February 6, 2023
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We Must Make St. John Safe Again

Dear Source:
Yes, I agree with Mr. Leopold that St John does have crime as does every city or town anywhere. Mr. Mitroff is also correct in saying that it is disturbing to have it happen on little St John. St John is not so little anymore. The problem is people pure and simple.
There was a time, and not so long ago that St John was considered one of the safest places on earth to be regardless of the time of day or area of the island. People took care of each other because we knew each other by name. Not so anymore. With the population rising and tourism increasing and with the huge influx of new residents, many of whom are part time, the ability to "know" each other has greatly diminished. Sad but true. These facts coupled with the fear that so called "thugs" as Mr. Mitroff describes them do, in fact, exist.
There is a curfew in the Virgin Islands that should be enforced but rarely is. The police should be more visible but seldom are seen. The crime rate is increasing because the police have a dismal record of solving crime, which gives criminals another reason to continue with their wicked ways. School age children should be home after 10pm but many parents allow them to stay out at all hours, often getting into trouble. Break-ins of homes and villas are becoming so commonplace that we have to create policy for guests to lock doors and leave on the lights when going out at night. Drugs are becoming more and more a huge problem here as they are everywhere. Our tourism-based economy allows a certain amount of leniency toward drinking and driving. A myriad of other issues face us, not the least of which is the rising crime rate. Alas, Its true. St John has become just another crime statistic with no end in sight it seems but it doesn't have to be that way.
To think we can ever return to the "olden" days when we felt completely safe on St John is something that can happen if the community as a whole was made to realize that crime affects us all. We are a tourism based economy and that can never change. To allow crime to persist is tantamount to slitting our own wrists. When it becomes intolerable, and we are getting close to that, then maybe people will wake up and start taking matters into their own hands. NOT as a vigilante group but rather to insist that the police do their jobs and to help rather than hinder police progress by turning in suspected criminal activity.
We NEED St. John to be safe because our future depends on it.
Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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