Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Tackle the root of crime first

Published:Thursday | February 20, 2020 | 12:14 AM


The monster of crime is so deep-rooted in Jamaica that it will never be tamed until, and unless, we address the rampant lawlessness and disorder that have enveloped the land. From disobeying the rules of the road to littering the streets, we now live in a Jamaica where everyone routinely does wrong without any consequences whatsoever.

If we are honest, we will admit that neither the People’s National Party nor the Jamaica Labour Party can take all the blame for crime and corruption; but we have all become guilty of breaking basic rules of decency and civility from childhood, and these having gone unpunished, and morphed into wanton rule breaking in our adult years. Now it seems too late to turn back the clock, since the authorities have not kept pace with corrective measures over the years.

The failure of successive governments to act on myriad crime plans over the years is a major reason why we have arrived at the blame game about whose responsibility it is. Thankfully, this administration is now ready to start some corrective measures to alleviate crime.

The states of emergency, which form part of an overall crime plan, is a deterrent, but the Government must also quickly implement many of their other initiatives which will guarantee us a more peaceful future.

These include the Liv-Gud initiative, aimed at getting Jamaicans to develop a culture of abhoring violence; boosting the capacity of JamaicaEye; reconstructing and refurbishing police stations in collaboration with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and National Housing Trust; and modernising the force through technology and improved communications methods.

This administration is also in the process of increasing the number police training facilities; they have added one surveillance aircraft and two new patrol boats. This is supported by budgetary allocation this financial year of $78 billion for recurrent expenditure and $15.9 billion for capital expenditure.

But we must keep on encouraging them to continue these long-overdue anti-crime initiatives, as out future depends on it.

E. Jack Samuels