[Opinion] Why Criminal Activities are on The Rise Lately: What Can Be Done
You can barely find any good headline in the news nowadays. Criminal activities are on the rise. Prisons are overpopulated, and you are now forced to watch over your shoulder whenever you are at home or going out.
What is causing people to murder each other in the country? What will push a teenager to send his best friend to ritualists? Why are politicians only sharing the national cake among themselves?
Why They Do These Things
Many factors contribute to the rise in criminal activities in Ghana. The most common is unemployment and increased cost of living.
Others include ignorance and the fact that many people have pressing mental health issues. Sometimes, they do not have a choice. How about you ask yourself why you would ever want to engage in criminal activity.
Your answer would make this article a lot easier to understand.
How We Can Stop Them
There are many ways through which we can help to put a stop to these activities. There are many ways through which you can help someone who is struggling.
No one is saying criminal activities are a good thing. They are not. They should be punishable by law, but there are reasons why people do these things. Why else do they have criminal defence attorneys?
But the most important thing is what we need to learn as people, what we can do to help. Here are a few things I have thought about;
The importance of providing jobs for people, especially the youth, cannot be overemphasized. You need a job to feed yourself and your family, you need a job to build a future, you need a job to survive.
But a large percentage of Ghana’s human resources are unemployed, and these individuals are no exposed to much that they are being pressured by society.
This kind of pressure leads them to engage in dangerous social vices that land them in prisons and ruin their lives forever. Even when they have jobs, sometimes their salaries are just “chicken change.”
The ones who have good jobs and get paid well also rub it in the faces of the unemployed. The youth are now engaging in armed robbery and internet fraud. The ones who aren’t brave enough are doing menial jobs here and there.
If they are given jobs that pay enough, they wouldn’t be stealing or murdering each other for money. And if society weren’t pressuring them too much, they would accept and make use of the little they had.
Improve on Living Conditions
If only government will subsidize the price of fuel, things will not increase so much. Almost every month, the fuel prices rise, and the cost of commodities shoots up.
A sachet of butter that we used to buy at twenty pesewas suddenly shoots up to fifty pesewas. People don’t even have the jobs to make money to buy these things whose prices are going up by the day.
People’s businesses are crippling because of the prices of Inventory. People are paying taxes that are about a quarter of their salary.
The cost of living is high, and the citizenry is lost. Some people refuse to stay hungry, so they decide to engage in criminal activities. When they are caught, they are sent to jail, and some spend the rest of their lives there.
If only government can help improve living conditions, if people who are established can be kind and extend a helping hand to those at the bottom, perhaps this country can be a better place.
Let Us Care for Those with Mental Disorders
In 2020, The World Health Organisation estimated that out of 21.6 million Ghanaians, 650,000 suffer from severe mental disorders. Isn’t it about time we end the stigmatization?.
If you see a loved one acting abnormally if you have a child who has an odd behaviour, instead of concluding that they have been possessed by an evil spirit, why don’t you take them to the hospital to be checked?.
I’m not saying foul spirits do not exist. They do. But many abnormal behaviours are caused by some mental illnesses. Mental illnesses can cause violent behaviours, anger issues, and more, and most of their symptoms are evident from childhood.
Parents need to stop inflicting pain on “stubborn” children, and they could be sick, they could be depressed, they could have ADHD or paranoid schizophrenia. I bet you don’t know anything about any of those illnesses.
Recently, a young girl stabbed her father so many times in the stomach till he died. Why do you think she did that? Was she possessed? Or she just had some abnormal and unstable brain cells?.
We need to build more hospitals, hire experienced therapists and psychiatrists and open a platform for these people to speak out and not feel stigmatized.
Let us Educate Eachother and Enforce Necessary Laws.
Many people don’t know the implications of their actions. They don’t know some things they can land them in prison for many years, they could even be put on the death penalty.
That is why it is crucial to educate Eachother on the dangers of engaging in criminal activities. The government needs to enforce laws to incarcerate criminals. There are many internet fraudsters in Ghana.
Some are from different other African countries because they know our security system doesn’t care about them. These people can be arrested for false identities, stealing, and more, and they don’t care because our security system isn’t doing anything about it.
Let us be kind to each other. Teach each other and help each other. These are the things that can get us through these challenging times. Criminal activities may never end in this era we live in, but we can do our best to manage them.