After this week’s news about Suntree wanting to ban sex offenders within its varied homeowners association areas I got to wondering. What are the crimes most likely to be committed in Suntree? I would guess minor vandalism and the occasional burglary are the most notable. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that burglaries and even home invasions were the big worry in the area. And for violent offenses that is where I would focus.
But what are the most common crimes committed in Suntree? I would guess it isn’t coming from any sex offenders living in the area. Those offenders are registered with local law enforcement and are first on the suspect list when a sex crime or near child abduction is reported. An offender with any smarts would not be offending under those circumstances or that close to home, anyway.
I said it, only half in jest, as we talked the topic on the show, but the more I think about it I would guess the biggest crime in Suntree involves golf carts and impaired driving. Two golf courses, plenty of good weather golf days and more than enough alcohol to go around make an interesting opportunity. Combine that with the perception that a golf cart is not a vehicle, that driving on the sidewalk or cart path can’t be DUI and a relatively quiet neighborhood where law enforcement presence is on a predominantly as needed basis and I’d say the conditions are ripe for a plague of drunk driving occurrences, even if not detected or involved in an accident.
While the quasi-governments of HOA’s like to exercise their power and claim to be protecting residents with things like more restrictive sex offender regulations, if they were serious they would crack down on things that are more likely to cause heartache than a registered offender living amongst them. Oh, a sex offender crackdown is a nice thought, but is this not a solution looking for a problem to solve? Or, is there maybe a sex offender and sex crime problem in Suntree that they are trying to address without raising alarm? If it’s the former, then they should concentrate on the real problems that the community faces. If it’s the latter, they have a problem that law enforcement should be already handling.
Recidivism rates for sex offenders, registered ones especially, are comparatively low. If you could do this for burglars or robbers it may be worth your time. Who is more likely to offend, the sex offender or the DUI driver? Wanna bet a week’s pay on it?
So, Suntree HOA’s, if you really want to address a problem in your community that could bring on real heartache, start your golf cart DUI and reckless driving patrol. It’ll be far more productive and likely to bring more benefit to your community than the sex offender restrictions. Or are you just trying to look like you are making your community a safer place?