Today’s Editorial, 21 Aug: Enforce the little laws

Concerned about crime in the Cayman Islands?

You should be.

But before you start wringing your hands and fretting about the increase in crime, take a good hard look in the mirror.

Are you part of the problem?

Any time any member of this society commits civil disobedience he or she is contributing to an overall attitude that breaking the law is OK.

Civil disobedience occurs each time an able person parks in a handicapped parking space.

Civil disobedience happens when drivers park their cars illegally; be it downtown or anywhere.

Civil disobedience takes form when a driver or passenger refuses to wear a seatbelt.

Civil disobedience takes place when a parent or guardian ferries a small child in his or her car without using a car seat.

Civil disobedience is defined as a violation of law in protest.

While breaking ‘little laws’ may not be done in an overt attempt at protest, it certainly is a snub at authority.

Our law enforcement officials must dedicate part of their staff to enforcing the laws that are supposed to stop people from breaking all laws, even the little ones.

A ticket and a fine for illegal parking, refusing to use car seats or seatbelts or any other myriad methods of disobedience would certainly be a deterrent to future misbehaviour.

Too, if the enforcement of law is seen by children it will reinforce the idea that doing wrong results in bad consequences; a lesson that needs to be reinforced in many homes.

Children who aren’t disciplined grow up to be adults who, when fined for breaking the ‘little laws’ or hauled in to court for breaking the ‘big laws, will balk at the idea of punishment.

Too many parents are doing their children a disservice by not teaching them discipline.

And every time an adult breaks a ‘little law’ and a child sees it, that child will develop the notion that it’s OK to snub authority.

If we don’t start enforcing the ‘little laws’ we will continue to see an increase in crime in the Cayman Islands.