This is the fourth segment in a series of blogs titled ” Crime in Jamaica”.In this segment I will attempt to show you how we have gotten to this point, a country which is now living off the largess of people living abroad..
In this picture is former People’s National Party leader and prime Minister, and (center)Current party leader and Prime Minister portia Simpson Miller.
National elections held 1988 saw the return of the PNP to power for what would turn out to be an unprecedented 18 1/2 year hold on political power, a move that to some may have been the second most instrumental factor as it relates to the condition of the country today.
Negative economic growth, pursuance of policies that has zero chance of growing the economy, massive corruption, run away crime, no updating of the country’s archaic laws and a plethora of other acts that could only be characterized as best case incompetence and worst case criminal.
For example the Jamaican Police Department, revealed that for a whole decade not a single dollar was provided for training of a single detective.
Bear in mind people commit crimes if they know they will get away with it. If there is less and less likelihood that one will be brought to justice for crimes he committed he will necessarily be emboldened to continue to do so with impunity.
Of course, true to form crime escalated, the “do as you please “seed which was planted during the 70’s, “take what you want from the capitalists” had now come to full bloom.
During the 80’s under Seaga and the Jamaica Labor Party, 600 murders annually were then astronomical numbers, at least for those of us who were on the fore-front of the war on crime. We thought at the time that in a country then with a population of 2.5 million that number of killings were untenable.
After I exited law-enforcement in 1991 I was stunned at the level of incompetence , complicity, and acquiescence in the Governing PNP government which saw murders rocketing to in excess of 1600 annually. This was double the number of homicides in just a couple of years.
Most Jamaicans living abroad had one common comment, ” I simply do not recognize the country, it is not a place I would ever live again”
One may argue about the level of patriotism in those comments, that’s a legitimate conversation to have , I do know this however, most people want to live a long life.
People who built homes intending to return home simply just abandoned their investments, chosing instead to stay alive. The so-called business sector, (so-called) because of what now remains of that sector, elements of civil society are now grappling with the reasons the levels of lawlessness are so pervasive. They do so while they advocate for the very ingredients that sustains, encourages and nurtures anarchy.
Lenient sentencing, giving criminals amnesty, giving aid and comfort to criminals, supporting criminal rights over the rights of victims, amongst a phalanx of other myopic paths to societal destruction.
If the people entrusted to make the laws are benefiting from criminality,why would they enact legislation that would effectively put criminals in jail where they belong? Why would the society expect them to train and equip a professional police force capable of following evidence wherever it leads,or train any detectives at all?
Most Jamaicans living overseas pull their hair out wondering why it is that Jamaica cannot arrest the run-away crime problem in the country? The truth is politicians from both side of the political divide benefits one way or another from crime and in some cases many of them are active criminals. What passes for media are really politically aligned dictation takers who write fluff pieces. They are generally more comfortable writing about dance-hall gyrations. The editorials are largely advocates for homosexuality, and nothing more.
The country is awash in high-powered weapons, guns have reportedly come from Haiti, in what is called the gun for drugs trade. Jamaicans take to the seas with marijuana and return from Haiti with boat-loads of weapons. Information received indicate that everything , including food is exchanged by Jamaicans for weapons. Food which includes ,we are told, the meat of donkeys, dogs and the carcass of other animals we wouldn’t eat in this part of the world
Weapons have come in from Colombia in the cocaine trade, from the United States through the ports, in barrels appliances and other ingenious ways.Weapons also enter the country from the United States in aircraft and boats, drug smugglers bring weapons in and leave with plane and boat-loads of cannabis. This has made many Jamaicans rather wealthy. This includes politicians,police,lawyers and businessmen.
With the recent draconian deportation policies being undertaken by the United States, Canada, and Britain the country has seen a serious spike in serious and complex crimes which the police force is ill-equipped to deal with. Many of the people being mass deported are intelligent people versed in cyber crimes and are cognizant of how to breach the rules in countries far more sophisticated than Jamaica. This poses a significant problem for local law-enforcement, many of whom are themselves deeply involved in criminality.
And so the society calls on the police to answer for the run-away criminality overtaking the country , the police reacts the way they know how, they respond with bullets.