Two pieces of news caught my eyes in the Jamaica Gleaner today Tuesday November 19th, thought it was worth commenting and getting a feed-back from you.
1) Dead Wrong: Security Expert Says Police Not Aiming At Right Target To Buck Murder Trend. As deadly gang violence continues to rage across the island, leaving hundreds dead since the start of the year, a prominent security consultant is suggesting that the authorities are focusing on the wrong targets in their bid to break the back of vicious criminality in many communities.http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131119/lead/lead1.html
2)’Mind Your Own Business And Look At Rot In Jamaica’ – Bajan Minister Blasts Gleaner For ‘Political Undertones’. A BARBADOS government minister has launched a scathing attack on a Sunday Gleaner editorial, telling the newspaper to take its nose out of Bajan affairs and concentrate on the “rot going on in Jamaica”.http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131119/lead/lead2.html.
I will attempt to be brief in my summation of both Articles which I believe are inter-connected though not related. A Jamaican security expert[sic] argues that the country is looking in the wrong places to curtail gang activity. Robert Finzi-Smith believes hunger is the driving force causing gang activity across the country . He counters that though the police have been heavy-handed with gangs and there was a reduction of gang related crimes it seems those gains are being reversed. Robert Finzi-Smith’s claim to expert-fame is consultant on crime control who serves as, among other things, director of safety and security at the University of Technology.
Now to the other story, The Gleaner Editorial board came under harsh criticisms from a Minister of Government in the Island Nation of Barbados. Bajan Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss excoriated the Gleaner Editorial page, telling them mind your own business and look at the rot going on in Jamaica. Barbados is in good hands. The Gleaner’s Editorial page is used to berating Jamaican law enforcement, so naturally it felt at liberty to level harsh criticisms at the Royal Barbados Police Force for bringing charges against two senior staff members at theNation newspaper over a recent publication”.The publication was of two 14 year olds students having sex at school.
Bajan authorities have confiscated the travel documents from the two Journalists. First let me say that even though I believe fundamentally in free speech and the right of a free press, I also understand that each country’s laws are different. The Gleaner not exposed to any realities but that which obtains in Jamaica , proceeded to blast that country’s police suggesting that the arrests were political. Well they got told where to go. There is no love lost between the two countries , recently the Shanice Myrie case exposed old wounds. Simply put, Bajans respect the rule of law, they fundamentally believe in order most Jamaicans don’t. Hence Barbados is tops in education , it’s economy is doing pretty well and crime is low. Now granted there is a distinct size and population difference between the two Islands, Jamaica could take a page from Barbados’ book on how to develop a country.
So while a Jamaican glorified security guard tells the police and the nation why they are losing the fight against gangs. And while the editorial page of the Gleaner consistently lends its voice to the anti-police chorus, authorities in Barbadoes stand solidly behind their law-enforcement professionals. That is where the problem lies . Not because people are hungry.