Insecurity has been a major issue affecting the operations in town and other areas close to the city. A suspected gang of boys has been terrorizing people by stealing from them and at times using violence thereby leaving a number of people injured. The most recent case involved that of a man who was killed by the gang as he tried to resist against their commands. Following the incident, the local authorities have proposed a new security policy that involves a curfew that has dictated that people are required to return and stay in their homes as early as 8.00 pm until 7.00am.
However, being a businessman and a resident who is affected by both issues of insecurity and the new policy implementation, I disagree with the time restriction as dictated by the newly proposed security policy. If the curfew policy is implemented, (1) most of the people who run their businesses in the evening will have limited time to carry out their activities and will, therefore, have problems meeting our financial needs for as long as the curfew persists. (2) The curfew will be less effective since the gang members will also be aware of such an implementation and they will not operate in the restricted hours. Besides, if the policy is implemented, (3) most employed people who work in evening shifts and who leave work within the restricted hours will be forced to quit the job or look for new residency away from the areas where the curfew applies or else they will be convicted to be members of the gang. Following the above reasons, I strongly oppose such an implementation and I would suggest that the authorities rather increase the number of security officers in the streets especially in the streets that have been identified as main gang points, as compared to imposing a curfew ruling.
To start with, the implementation of the curfew will affect most of us who run our businesses in the evening since our operating tie will be cut short and we will, therefore, make less income which in turn interprets to difficulties in meeting our financial needs. The main reason why most of us prefer to reside within the city and its surrounding areas is because of its favorable business environment that enables us to carry out our business activities within the scope of less time and still manage to make profits. We spend most of our day-time engaging in various activities since there are fewer customers at such time since most people are at work, and wait till evening when such people are free from work. Most of us open our small businesses from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm and during that span, there is high customer traffic as most people are buying their various materials before they can retire to their houses and resume to their usual working schedules early the next day. Implementing such a curfew implies that we will be operating for less than two hours and that interprets to lesser profits among the business people. Considering that the city hosts more than five hundred small businesses, it would be wrong for the authorities to fail to recognize the implications that the policy would have on such a massive number before implementing it.
Besides, the curfew will be less effective since the gang members will also be aware of such an implementation and they will not operate in the restricted hours. Most of the young men who are suspected of being members of the gang reside in areas around the city and, therefore, they are fully aware of any policies that are implemented to regulate and govern it. The curfew will be less effective in arresting the gang members mainly because of two reasons as identified by Cole (2003), firstly, if the curfew is implemented, it means that the residents will not be out within the restricted time range and therefore, the gang will not operate since they operate at such times when there is a high population of individuals in the streets. Secondly, the gang members will also remain indoors within the restricted time and it will, therefore, be difficult for the officers to identify and arrest them.
Lastly, if the policy is implemented, it will affect the employed people who operate within the restricted hours. Considering that the city has many companies that run around the clock, there is a high number of individuals who report to work at different time depending on their working shifts. Any employees who report to or leave work within the restricted hours will be forced to resign job since the authorities have not specialized any exclusion programs. According to Cole (2003), since the main aim of implementing such a policy is to enhance security and help to identify and arrest the individuals involved in the criminal behaviour, the authorities should reconsider any policies that would make innocent individuals to suffer more and also evaluate the effectiveness of such policies towards achieving their primary objective.
In conclusion, I would suggest that the authorities should consider a more effective solution that has less negative impacts on the innocent citizens and residents of the city. I would suggest that increasing the number of security officers in the streets would be a more useful measure as compared to the implementation of curfews since they are less subjective and they affect the majority of the residents negatively.
Cole, D. (2003). The effect of a curfew law on juvenile crime in Washington, DC. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(2), 217-232.