The territory has been rocked with a rise in gun-related crimes of late, including the latest murder of Catherine Pickering of Paraquita Bay, who was shot during a robbery last Sunday, April 18, 2021.
Honourable Smith, speaking at the Seventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on Thursday, April 22, 2021, also called on men in the territory to play their part in moulding their children and added that institutions like the Attorney General’s Office and the courts should be strengthened because the prolonged periods on remand causes innocent young men to turn into criminals when they mingle with criminals at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
“We men need to stand up! We men need to stand up and be men and be fathers and do the right thing; for this to change, fathers need to stand up."
The At-Large Member also lashed out at parents who turn a blind eye to red flag behaviour by their children.
"Sometimes we as parents see our children come home with stuff, and we know we didn’t give it to them, but we still don’t ask questions. You might see your child come home on a scooter, you didn't buy him a scooter, you know your child not working but you not asking your child where he got this scooter from. These are the things that start, it starts small, and it becomes big,” Hon Smith pointed out.
Honourable Smith also reasoned that the matter of the rising crime is also linked to ineffective methods of disciplining their children, such as time outs instead of lashes.
He said he was privy to a radio conversation on child abuse, and in explaining what child abuse is, the conversers said: “if you lick a child and you see a welt on that child, that’s child abuse. So what you have to do is put him in a corner for time out. Mr Speaker, you see what we coming to? And then you asking why there is crime? When I was young I didn’t know what time out was, my time out was a belt, that’s what we used to get. If you realise where we are today, people saying is different times, it ain't no different times, we as parents need to do our jobs.”
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.