Holness’ Push For Crime Issue On CARICOM’s Agenda A Cry For Help?

Speaking at a news con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the 38th meet­ing of Heads of Governments in Grenada on Thursday night, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that he had request­ed of heads of CARICOM states that the issue of crime and vio­lence be placed on the agen­da for dis­cus­sion.

Holness told reporters gath­ered after the meet­ing that while crime and vio­lence had not been a mat­ter on the agen­da for this sum­mit, he had tak­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to raise the mat­ter at that meet­ing.

Andrew Holness

I raised the issue from the per­spec­tive of not just a secu­ri­ty issue but from a macro-social per­spec­tive that the use of vio­lence as a means of resolv­ing con­flict, as a means of social con­trol, as part of our social trans­ac­tions that it is becom­ing almost a fea­ture of our soci­eties.”

The Prime Minister’s state­ments may be viewed in two or more lights depend­ing on where you stand.
(1) The Prime Minister is cor­rect this is a region­al issue in which the broad­er CARICOM com­mu­ni­ty has a stake and must take action.
(2) This is a cry for help from the Jamaican Prime Minister.

THE CASE FOR CARICOM’s POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT

Of course, crime is a region­al issue best tack­led with all hands on deck. There are guns com­ing into Jamaica from Haiti. There are drugs com­ing through Haiti, into Jamaica from Colombia as far as the report­ing goes.
Jamaican farm­ers are expe­ri­enc­ing a sig­nif­i­cant loss of live­stock as Jamaican gangs are steal­ing and slaugh­ter­ing their live­stock and tak­ing the car­cass­es to Haiti to exchange for guns and ammu­ni­tion.
Trinidad and to some extent Guyana have had issues with ter­ror­ism some export­ed from South America and in Trinidad’s case Islamic fun­da­men­tal­ism.
All of these fac­tors dic­tate that the region must come togeth­er in the fight against crime as it has for oth­er rea­sons

The issues of region­al crim­i­nal­i­ty and ter­ror­ism are best tack­led from a region­al per­spec­tive, while each state insti­tute their own sys­tems of deal­ing with their crim­i­nals as they see fit.
Only through col­lab­o­ra­tive effort and best prac­tices will this mon­ster be brought under con­trol.
No mem­ber state is suf­fi­cient­ly rich, to com­bat on its own the grow­ing list of crimes affect­ing mem­ber states. Together CARICOM can have a sig­nif­i­cant effect in reduc­ing crime in the region.
Criminals should have no safe zones in the region, with coun­tries like the US, Canada, and Britain clamp­ing down on who enter their coun­tries, region­al coöper­a­tion on this issue would go a long way in con­trol­ling this prob­lem.

A CRY FOR HELP?

You bet!
There is noth­ing wrong with ask­ing for help if a prob­lem seems too large to tack­le alone.
After decades of polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence, arm­ing crim­i­nals, shack­ling law-enforce­ment, INDECOM, erect­ing and insti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing oth­er bar­ri­ers to the rule of law, a Jamaican Prime Minister is by default acknowl­edg­ing that the prob­lem they cre­at­ed is big­ger than their con­trol.

Nevertheless, despite the past region­al coöper­a­tion on crime is imper­a­tive as it is on eco­nom­ic and oth­er issues.
The Caribbean com­mu­ni­ty must come togeth­er on all rel­e­vant issues or face the bleak con­se­quences.
All hands are required on deck to deal with the bur­geon­ing issue of crime and ter­ror not just in Jamaica, but across the region, on Trinidad and Tobago and yes even Barbados.
Member states can take a hands off approach (hi Barbados) and pre­tend that they are an Island, [sic] well they are indeed an Island, but not even Island’s can stand alone any­more.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

The prob­lems fac­ing us are glob­al issues which if not attacked com­pre­hen­sive­ly will have cat­a­stroph­ic con­se­quences for our coun­try and the region.
Even as the Jamaican PM speak about crime on the region­al stage, I would have pre­ferred to see a dif­fer­ent point per­son oth­er than Delroy Chuck speak on the local stage about the imple­men­ta­tion of the of the yet to become law spe­cial zones Act.

If our coun­try is to climb out of this hell-hole it is in, Delroy Chuck, an anti-police, crim­i­nal apol­o­gist is cer­tain­ly not the per­son to be run­ning point on this.
I have absolute­ly no con­fi­dence that Delroy Chuck has the char­ac­ter or the know how much less the desire to see Jamaica’s gar­risons become a thing of the past.
Delroy Chuck attend­ed the funer­al of a know crim­i­nal gang­ster and as such he has zero cred­i­bil­i­ty or char­ac­ter to talk about the imple­men­ta­tion of anti-crime mea­sures.

As long as Chuck is out front talk­ing about this new law, or have any­thing ng to do with nation­al secu­ri­ty and jus­tice on the Island I will be a skep­tic.