2016 has been a year where law and order, or the lack of it has been under the spotlight for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons is that there is an urgent need for change and there has been for some time.
But our Government has busied itself creating a façade of industry and commerce to impress who knows whom, by erecting large buildings all over Apia.
In doing so, the private sector, who had put up buildings to house Government departments have now been left high and dry and untenanted.
If these large Government buildings had been built by locals, there would have been some satisfaction that at least these edifices had created employment opportunities.
Government has also chosen to ignore some of the glaring social problems created by disillusioned and disenfranchised youth, large numbers of unemployed and unskilled workers and a widening gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
This of course multiplies all the associated social problems that can arise from the people in these opposing groups.
For those in power, they include the evils of arrogance, entitlement and ignorance from those in positions of power.
And for those not in positions of power, their struggles are well documented in our newspaper and other media.
It is sad that it takes a high profile rape case of a visiting Australian tourist in the regional and world media to galvanise the Government into action over the urgent need for a secure prison, despite the fact there have been annual reports urging reform in this area for years.
But even that didn’t prompt the Government to immediately erect a fence to stop the steady stream of prisoners walking out of Tafaigata.
And we have since had yet another visitor to our country assaulted and robbed by a prisoner on the loose while we wait for Government to find the money for the under budgeted new jail which is to open in 2017.
It is also sad that it takes the expected closure of Yazaki EDS in 2017 to galvanise the Government into action about the imminent group of jobless there will be despite the many unemployed right in front of our eyes in villages, Apia and of course prison.
It seems that though Government has trotted out that Education is a Government priority for decades, they omitted to look ahead with any kind of vision to create plans to provide jobs and job satisfaction for all these eager young people pouring out of our schools.
Instead, young people were simply urged go back to the land as it became patently obvious that Government with its many ministries and departments had not made any provision for their most valuable assets – people.
And now, we have the Police and Prosecution leadership in absentia as we engage a gaggle of Q.C.s and other high powered lawyers from New Zealand to deal with the squabbles of the P.M.’s ‘kids’.
We should therefore perhaps not be shocked that an Officer in Charge at a Police Post, took it upon himself to take home a 357 revolver after alleging that firearms had been going missing.
This kind of action illustrates the lack of leadership, the outdated systems and the disdain for following any of the protocols necessary for important organizations which are here to supposedly uphold the law and protect us