Jamaica’s National Security Minister has just announced that the country has secured the services of a consultant to help stem the flow of weapons into the island. The consultant , a woman, will also be required to develop a national policy to stem the flow of small arms into the island — the prevalence of which has been blamed for the country’s year-to-year high murder rate. The consultant, a woman whose identity has not been disclosed, began her six-month contract on June 9 and will also look at legislation on explosives and all firearms.
The Security Minister revealed that the individual has worked with a number of international bodies. She is from an entity, the Small Arms Survey, a graduate institute based in Geneva, Switzerland… and has also worked with the UN disarmament unit,” he said. “The objective is to ensure a level of control within the society so that we can eliminate, as far as possible, crime and violence related to gun use; and at the same time, those control measures will also include the question of [dealing with] importation, exportation, transshipment,” he explained. Also listed as part of the consultant’s responsibilities, the assessment of security operations at the island’s ports in keeping with international standards, stock management within law enforcement agencies, and a review of the Firearms and Gunpowder Acts.Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gun-control-Intl-consultant-hired-to-help-stem-flow-of-weapons-to-Jamaica_9409941#ixzz1UdaFYfpg
I don’t want to be known as a cynic, but I am just a little miffed at the reasons why the consultant’s name , and the amount of monies being paid out to her is a secret. Are the funds being doled out part of a grant , or loan, by a foreign entity that requires secrecy ? If so the Jamaican people still have a right to know , at least that she is being paid by said entity.
Again , let me remind the Administration , in a Democracy you Govern by consent, in a Monarchy you govern by decree, if as we claim ,that we have a democracy, then the bosses of the Government, the people have a right to know what actions are being taken in their name.
If there are circumstances that makes those rights impractical, then the Government should classify that information . That we undertand.
I welcome any help that the government can source that will effectively impact the flow of guns into the country, and by extension reduce the level of rabid criminality that is now the norm in Jamaica.
However at the same time we commend this as a step in the right direction , the Jamaican people must demand accountability for monies spent. Over the last several years we have seen a plethora of consultants and so called experts brought in ,allegedly with a view to reshape and refocus our Justice system and police services.
The jury is still out on the rate of returns, if any,the people have gotten on their investment.
Because the Country is awash in illegal weapons, it does seem like a good move to have something done about it , what I am not sure about, is whether it required a six year contract to come up with a workable strategy? What are the terms of her contract? what if there are no visible improvements in the system after a period of time? Will the Jamaican people be stuck with a potentially high priced import ,who is delivering nothing for their scarce tax dollars. Will a future Government of the Opposition party be bound by a contract they did not award?
This brings us to the competence of our own Security proffesionals.Are we to believe that the nation’s military intelligence unit, and the much vaunted more educated cadre of Police Officers, cannot figure out a way to stem the flow of guns coming into Jamaica? We are well aware of the jagged nature of Jamaica’s coastline, we are aware of the level of resources available to the coast guard and marine police , we get all of that. What we do not understand is how come those entities cannot intercept any of the weapons coming in?
To my mind there is no need for anyone to develope a policy to stem the flow of guns into Jamaica . Minister Nelson alluded to the fact that most of the illegal guns streaming into the Island are coming from the United States. They have nailed down the state of Florida and has even fine-tuned this intelligence to three counties in that state.
Save the Jamaican people their tax dollars and lean on the General sitting there with you Minister Nelson, get the Americans with their in-finite resources to stop the guns flowing into Jamaica , case closed.
Why do you need a high priced , highly recommended so-called expert to tell you what you already know?
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