MURDERS IN JANUARY SPIKE BY 140 PERCENT:
Read story at link provided above
The Jamaica daily gleaner blared this headline today Wednesday January 18th 2012.
This story was posted to that medium’s website at 1:29 pm Jan. 18. 2012, At about the same time this story was being posted , I was having a conversation with a couple of my fellow Jamaicans, one of whom raised the issue of the huge spike in homicides since the beginning of the year.I was shocked to learn from my friend that the common theme on the streets in Jamaica is now that the “criminals are in power so it’s anything goes” I have written extensively and expansively on the subject of crime in Jamaica but I was stunned to hear that this is actually the mindset on the streets. My friend told me that his sister tells him that things have suddenly turned around for the worse to what they were before the raid on Tivoli, and gunmen are returning to the streets unafraid.
For the first 7 days 30 people were slaughtered, I will speak briefly on the comments of the commissioner but first, “whether or not some or all of those killed believed in the rule of law or not , the million dollar question is really were there stringent measures in place that seriously deal with murders wouldnt at least some of them be alive”?
If the answer is at best………….. maybe, aren’t the Jamaican people then voting against their best interest at least on the issue of crime.
I thought it was interesting that Jamaicans would sacrifice their safety on the altar of being able to “eat a food”
Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington
Commissioner of Police Ellington argues that his Department has managed to cut the spike from a 140% spike to 17% over the corresponding period last year. I guess he means for the second week the numbers have levelled off to a 17% overall spike over the corresponding period last year. Ellington attributes this less frightening number of 17% over a two-week spread as against 140% over a one week period, the corresponding period last year, to increased operations and curfews by his department. If the logic of the commissioner is to be believed the JCF would need a force of approximately four times its present size to keep the curfews intact round the clock in order to return Jamaica to a place where murders are at a minimum. That would not include domestic murders which Police rarely have control over, and if that was the case Jamaica would be a place under perpetual martial law.
What was instructive in the commissioner’s assessment was that the same method of policing that was being employed when I served in the eighties to early nineties is the same method of policing that is in place today. I thought that we would have graduated from the methodology of curfews and large operations ,which really say to people “they don’t know what they are looking for” , to a more targeted intelligence based, low collateral pin-point approach.
But even if the country had a better system of Policing at its disposal, even if we had a better system of justice which puts criminals away , in jail where they belong, how do we handle a mindset in which arguably a plurality of the population supports criminality as a way of life , (or at best supports an underhanded unlawful hustle) as a means of putting food on their table? Many will argue that there is no such plurality as only about 48% of the electorate voted in the past election! that number though factually correct conceals the fact that the majority of the electorate resorted to apathy and did not bother to participate. But a no vote for something is a default vote for the opposition, each and every voter ought to know what’s at stake comes election time. Every elector must know what he or she is voting for or against, and as such not participating in their democracy removes them from serious consideration as citizens.
As I have stated in these blogs on many previous occasions, crime will continue to increase in Jamaica under this Administration, it will frighten investors away, and it will cripple the economy which depends primarily on Tourism, and secondarily on remittance (handouts )from Jamaicans living abroad. Both means of foreign exchange inflow has already slowed down due largely to economic conditions in The United States and Europe , which sees less tourists visiting the country and less disposable income available to Jamaican immigrants living in other countries.