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A New Approach to Crime Reporting

Dr Sleepwell


Cross posted from the Dr. Sleepwell web site www.sleepwellpanama.com

This is one of a series of articles introducing Dr. Sleepwell's new approach to healthy, preventive security


Dr. Sleepwelll knows that the community wants and needs accurate accounts of crimes that are committed and he does his best with his limited resources. But just reporting on crimes is not enough.

The Doc talks about “investigating” crimes, but he is not the police and has no capability or interest in chasing criminals. It’s a necessary job and he appreciates and supports the police, but his role is not to find out who did what, but how and why they did it.

While we all agree that the police forces need to be beefed up and incarceration made a deterrent with teeth. However, no matter how many malientes are arrested, there will always be more. 

Even at their most effective, police can only reduce the statistical probability of crime - no police anywhere in the world can guarantee your personal safety - you are not a statistic - you are a real person whose life can be ruined by crime - unless you act to protect yourself.

Only by understanding HOW and WHY crimes are committed do we have a real chance of preventing each one of us from becoming a victim in the future. 

Over the last five years, Dr. Sleepwell has conducted what he calls “forensic investigations” of most significant crimes in and around Boquete, and some farther away. He studies every detail of how the crime was committed - which windows did they try to open - how did they ultimately get in - what did they do once inside. He has a large, and unfortunately growing, database of information about how crimes are committed - and how to prevent them. 

In recent years he has used this information to help individual residents improve their security. However, the prospect of a possible crime epidemic has convinced him to open a free public clinic in order to get this information to the maximum number of people as quickly as possible and hopefully stem the epidemic before it overwhelms our communities.

When a serious crime is committed, we naturally feel sorry for the victims, as we should. Many are embarrassed by the obvious security flaws that were exploited by opportunistic criminals. However, the Doc has been most gratified that virtually every victim also understands the greater community benefit of a frank and non-judgemental (and non-personal) discussion in order to prevent others from becoming victims themselves. 

The WHY of crime is really very simple - 90% of the crime against expats is economic. Just with that understanding, we can make individual lifestyle changes that in the long run reduce crime for the entire community. If everyone simply hid their valuable jewelry and put in simple intrusion alarms, the attractiveness of our community would drop in the eyes of the criminals. Many small steps add up to a healthy, secure life style in Panama. 

By understanding what is stolen and how, we can take steps to choke off the economic desirability of coming to our town or indeed, to your house.

 That’s the new slant on crime reporting.

copyright 2015, Mark Heyer

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