‘Need to stop their activities’
More than a thousand years ago, Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi – one of the greatest, most prominent and most influential Arab poets said ‘All incidents start from looks and fire begins with little sparks’.
A few years ago, sociology confirmed its prediction that the perpetrators of the big crimes were young when they committed petty crimes but no one was held accountable, and they almost spontaneously turned from small violators to dangerous criminals, and so on.
Rudy Giuliani, a former mayor of the New York City, is one of the most famous applicants of this theory. He has instructed the security forces to pay more attention to the prosecution of petty criminals, traffic offenders, those who vandalize railway carriages and walls with their paintings, those who damage the environment and thieves who break in shops.
He has discovered that most of big time criminals were born out of teenage criminals who began their life committing petty crimes and in a record time transformed the New York City, which nobody would dare to roam about in 90% of its streets in the 1970s, into one of the safest American cities.
We go back to Kuwait and talk of the dust that has been kicked for preventing a small boy from selling melons, and how we should pay attention to the adult criminals rather than punishing this boy is absolutely unacceptable because the Interior Ministry deal with the big crimes and the violation of the boy and other minor offenders fall within the jurisdiction of the Municipality.
Should the Municipality, for example, wait for the Interior Ministry to arrest big criminals and give it a signal to begin arresting watermelon sellers, for example?
The sympathy shown with the watermelon seller is worthy of appreciation, but why did not these people ask themselves why he was in that place? And what about motorists who abruptly pull over to buy melons from him block traffic? And how someone who supports this boy will feel if he/she is involved in a car crash because of the watermelon boy?
What about the health, safety, environment and trade requirements for people who sell food and much more? The presence of a watermelon seller on a main street is harmful psychologically, socially and legally. The young age should not be given justification in the name of bigger crimes are being committed that need to be dealt with. A crime is a crime, irrespective how big or small because there is no other name for it.
Talking about the ‘watermelon seller’ it takes us to the phenomenon of ice-cream vendors who are increasing in numbers as the summer approaches. They are considered to be in the category of people doing business considered ‘unnecessary’ because what they sell is available abundantly in co-ops and mini stores and even grocery shops and in better conditions.
They also sell other stuffs and some of them have turned to be running mobile groceries, and most do not have commercial or health permits. Their movement on the roads often impedes traffic, especially after end of school.
Therefore, their activities should be stopped. There is a need to reactivate the laws which have become stagnant when it comes to the interests of bigger companies. In case these people want to practice their activities, the Municipality, ministries of Health and Commerce should organize their work so that people with infectious diseases are not allowed to do this profession, add to this, violations that are committed by some who ride motorcycles that do not carry numbers and are not licensed commercially or from the health point of view.
Ahmad alsarraf is a Kuwaiti columnist in the Arab Times
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© 2019 Arab Times Kuwait English Daily. All Rights Reserved.