WE EXPRESS condolences to the family and loved ones of Daniel Cooper, yet another victim of murder, and call on the authorities to solve this killing as well as the many instances of crime that continue to plague our nation. But we also take the opportunity to highlight the example set by Kenneth Cooper, Daniel’s father, and to urge citizens to emulate this father’s actions.
According to our report, Kenneth Cooper played an instrumental role in the apprehension of one of the suspects in his son’s murder. On Tuesday night, Cooper spotted one of the men. When he saw the man, instead of taking matters into his own hands, he contacted the police. Within minutes the suspect was detained.
The matter is still subject to investigation and it is for the authorities to unravel the facts and determine if there is sufficient evidence to trigger criminal proceedings. However, the fact that Cooper, at considerable risk to his own safety, played a role in apprehension of the suspect must be lauded.
To be clear, we are not condoning any actions which amount to vigilante justice. Law enforcement and interdiction are matters best left to those trained to handle them. These matters should also be left to those who are clothed with the explicit authority to act.
In this instance, however, Cooper’s conduct appears to have fallen squarely within his rights. He however took the proper decision to call in the police at a crucial moment. Had he confronted the suspect, it is possible Cooper could have been endangered, as well as the general public.
Increasingly, there is suggestion that some are willing to take matters into their own hands when it comes to the response to crime. Low levels of confidence in the police, questions about the efficacy of police watchdog bodies, as well as the increased brazenness of criminals have meant citizens now face dismal prospects when crime enters their lives.
Reports in relation to a recent high-profile kidnapping, suggesting the family of the victim paid the kidnappers who had made a ransom demand, demonstrate the degree of desperation which crime victims sometimes face. Given a choice between negotiating with criminals and trusting the police, citizens chose the former. This needs to change.
Cooper’s faith in the police is an example of what should happen. But it also highlights the need for the police to have the resources necessary to work on cases in a focused way, without multiple cooks in the kitchen.
It is hoped Cooper’s actions have contributed positively to solving his son’s murder. The police must now pick up the baton passed to them and take the case over the finish line and into court.