Where Credit Is Due; Where Action Is Needed The 15th murder has been recorded for 2008 in the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis. That statistic puts this country on track to have one of the highest murder rates in the world, outside of places like Iraq and Sudan, where violent unrest resulting in death is a part of everyday life. The Royal St. Kitts-Nevis Police have charged suspects in seven of the 15 cases, nearly half of those committed. It would be nice if arrests had been made in 15 of 15 cases or in 14 of 15 cases, but the reality is simple: Not all crimes are solved. When looked at in a sober light, one can see the police have made arrests in 46 percent of the cases -” which, compared to many places with similar limited means, is not bad. And homicide rates are very fickle numbers. In the United States, about 60 percent of homicides are solved. However, those rates can plunge to 30 percent in urban areas where the majority of murders are gang-related. The numbers can also be affected by the huge rural areas in the U.S. where only one homicide might be committed in a year (or in a number of years), which gives the local police a homicide clearance rate of 100 percent. The police are not to blame for the crime rate. Although we urge them to increase their efforts to solve the murders committed, we believe it is even more important for leaders in politics, business, communities, religion, media and education to mount a wide-ranging, well-publicized and concerted effort to stop crime. Community meetings, public education efforts and public demonstrations against crime and criminals are needed. It is time to let those who degrade our society by indulging in unlawful acts know that everyday people are fed up with being bullied and living in fear for their own safety and for the safety of their loved ones. It’s time to tell the criminals that their way of life is not acceptable. This message should be communicated without letup until the situation is vastly improved. Get It In The Bag ” In today’s issue of The Observer, there is a story about the proposal to replace plastic shopping bags with reusable bags, an effort spearheaded by the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority. This is an idea whose time has come. While shopping bags are easy to use and often get a second life as trash sacks, these items wind up as pieces of litter, clog water treatment systems and are a threat to sea creatures, who can choke on them. Making the switch from disposable plastic bags to reusable bags wouldn’t be easy or free. Merchants and customers would have to adjust to a system requiring a little more effort than is now put forth. Reusable bags aren’t free, so Solid Waste is seeking sponsors to help pay for the bags in exchange for using the bags as promotional tools. Such a promotion would pay off in many ways beyond name recognition for the sponsors, most importantly in the long-return that would be enjoyed by protecting the environment. We urge everyone working on this project to keep up the good work.