Upon picking up a local newspaper or listening to local radio programs here, you will become intimately acquainted with all criminal reports in Hawaii, including recent arrests and convictions in the last week.
“Joe Smith was convicted of driving under the influence in Hilo on March 1st”.
“Jane Doe arrested for possession of drugs at county of Captain Cook.”
“There were reports of property destruction in Pahoa the evening of February 29th. Any information assisting in the conviction of this crime is welcome”.
“Domestic violence incidents in Waimea….”
Having come from a big city, this seems strange to me. I’m used to anonymity. I could walk by dozens of convicted felons in a day without having the slightest clue.
But here on the Big Island, criminal reports in Hawaii are common knowledge. My guess is that it is a requirement for smaller communities, especially island ones. Hey – we’re all stuck on this little piece of real estate together; it’s good to know something about our land-mates!
Once I got over the initial shock of this sort of information being considered “news”, I started to take a perverse degree of comfort in these reports. Don’t get me wrong: we don’t exactly gather ‘round the radio for the weekly criminal reports in Hawaii!
But to be an active member in a small community, this could be useful information. I still feel detached from the community in general (I am a traveler after all, and living and volunteering at a hostel keeps me in that mindset), so I don’t particularly relate to the reports. But for an employer or business person….knowing something about your neighbours, employees, and colleagues…
Not to mention the fact that I also see the publicity of such news as a possible deterrent. At the very least it’s an instrument of humiliation, which in most cases is justified. Hey – if you’re going to break the law, be prepared for the consequences.
This post was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.