Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Predicaments a galore !

The proposal of the police to frisk youths in group of 2 or more after 10 pm have caused concerns in some quarter. The proposal is intended to prevent or at least reduce crimes that most happen during the nights and most perpetrators happen to be youth.

One glaring fact is that Thimphu is no longer a safe city especially during late into the nights. The other fact is that majority of the youth who are out in the nights are simply out to have a good time among themselves. However, there are youths in groups and also adults who take advantage of darkness to commit crimes. Vandalisms, assaults,thefts and break-ins, rapes and gang fights generally occur under the cover of late night darkness and lonesome situations.  The social environment at Thimphu is not completely conducive to movements of single individuals during late nights even if they are just driving home after a dinner or a weekend movie treat.

So how can we secure the safety of citizens with limited police force which is inadequately trained and equipped and comparatively underpaid compared to the high level of diligence and skill required for maintaining a haphazardly over grown metropolitan like Thimphu? Do we restrict the movement of general people during late night hours in some parts of the City where crime rate is high? Do we carry out spot frisking of night owls to discourage or prevent criminal intents or acts?

It is a tough call. Not at all black and white. On one hand we need to have a safe and socially friendly environment where people feel safe both during the day and during the night. And on the other hand infringing upon the freedom of certain age groups is also socially undesirable.

One national trait that we ought to put to the past era is make things overly restrictive and viciously enforced as in the case of gho, kira and tobacco. Do not unnecessarily criminalise the social habits of our own citizens. Caged animals cannot lie still as hoped by the keeper. 

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