The recently tabled (Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017″ )otherwise called the (“special crime zones Bill“) was passed in the house of representatives last night.
The process is not over, there is a process which includes the Senate debating and voting on it , then to the Governor General for his signature before it becomes law.
If Delroy Chuck has anything to do with it,-it is guaranteed to be another paper tiger.
Simultaneously, the month of June has been the most violent in 7 years. The police reports ,141 persons were killed up to Tuesday June 27th.
That number represents the largest number of persons to be killed in Jamaica since 2010 in a single month.
Now that the bill has garnered some semblance of bi-partisan support ,there are enough reasons to believe it may actually become law despite my personal misgivings about it’s ultimate success.
As I said in a recent Article the fact that the likes of the PNP’s Paul Burke is supporting the bill is not only a sign of the times, but a glaring example Jamaica’s crime problem has reached critical mass.
The village lawyers are already out with their ill-informed prognostications. They will talk about the potential for police abuse . They will talk about past instances of abuse. They will even talk about the pressing need for restraint, because somehow we must protect the human rights of criminals and their supporters.
What the Monday Morning quarterbacks won’t talk about is the fact that the country is a veritable zone of exclusion for law abiding people.
Decent law abiding citizens are literally living , in fear that the next person killed may be them.
In response to the bill ,the PNP’s Paul Burke spoke eloquently in a single statement.
“Our rights have already been taken away…I have witnessed first-hand the level of fear…I used to be able to go across many communities, I am [now] reluctant to do so” .
Burke’s statements came in response to his party’s continued haranguing, and hiding behind the issue of human rights as a reason for not supporting anti-crime initiatives.
In his contribution to the debate the Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said “The truth is that the Jamaican State only exists in some areas of Jamaica, and so from a national security point of view we want to ensure that every square inch of Jamaica has some presence of the Jamaican State,” he said. “We are accepting it as the norm, and we are normalizing a situation that should never be normal,”
This is a remarkable statement from the Jamaican Prime Minister.
In that statement he acknowledged that Jamaica is now a fractured country in which state power exists only in some areas.
For the record Jamaica is an approximate 4411 square miles and a population of 2,7 million people.
That is a profound admission. We have been warning against this for years.
Now granted that Holness just recently seemed to have had this brush with reality , a contact awareness which may have happened because of the number of dead bodies , nonetheless this writer feels obligated to welcome him to the planet reality.[sic]
According to Jamaican media 712 people were reported killed from the start of the year to June 27th.
If that trend hold the country is on track to record over 1400 homicides for the year. Those murder numbers are much closer to the year 2005 than a situation in which the country’s homicide numbers are being checked.
Now of all the idiotic, silly things I have heard in this crime conversation, nothing pisses me off more than the request Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett made. Bartlett wants the local media to bury the crime numbers in the nether regions of their publications.
This idiotic narrative has taken on legs , not surprisingly , many Jamaicans believe hiding bad news is okay, as long as they are not killed while they are having curry goat and rice, Guinness stout and Ganja. Many are not too concerned about the dead bodies they step over to get to the party .
I personally welcome this bit of legislation ,the “special crime zones Bill” ,even though I am under no illusion that it will do much to take back the streets from the gangs which now rule them.
But because it seem to indicate an awakening of the people who run the country to the grim realities of the time .
I disagree with the intent of the bill , I doubt when it becomes law it will be successful because the bill will be focusing on communities not individuals and entities.
When the security forces swoop down on certain areas as designated by the prime minister or whomever that authority is , it can almost be guaranteed they will not be swooping down on Cherry Gardens or Norbrook.
They will not swoop down on Jacks Hill or up on Stillwell Road.
Based on that alone poorer people who are confined to sections of Three Miles, of Rema, Olimpic Gardens or Payne avenue will be penalized for being poor.
If the so-called human rights advocates want to make that argument I am all for signing on to that narrative.
What I will have no patience for ,is the gibberish from those who talk about human rights for killers but have no compassion or empathy for crime victims.
This is why I continue to speak about the value of what Los Pepes did in Colombia.
Any effective strategy which will have a positive impact on Jamaica’s burgeoning terror problem must begin with…
♦The understanding that whats going on is terrorism.
♦ Remove the handcuffs from the hands of the good police officers, and place them on those of criminal cops.
♦ Fire Terrence Williams , repeal INDECOM, and replace it with a law and leadership which is not in conflict with police , but roots out dirty cops.
♦ Ignore foreign Government’s opinion of how we enforce our laws and what laws we pass to govern our country.
♦ Make money available and begin the task of training enough detectives .
♦ Infiltrate the gangs.
♦ Take from judges hands the power to determine sentence in gun crimes( truth in sentences).
♦ Hire more judges who understand their roles as interpreters of the law , not lawmakers.
♦ Hire more, (and )competent prosecutors.
♦ Hire Judges who were prosecutors.
♦ Fast-track court cases so that justice may be served and citizens may once again have confidence in the state to deliver justice.
♦ Get politician’s grubby little fingers off law enforcement by creating a system of checks and balances.
♦ enact serious laws which puts criminals caught with a gun in prison for a minimum of two years, granted the weapon was never used in the commission of a homicide or assault.
♦ In the event the weapon was involved in a n assault or Robbery the penalty should be twenty years in Prison.
♦ A criminal caught with a weapon , or who used a gun in the commission of a homicide, the penalty should be life without the possibility of parole.
♦ Improve accountability in the JCF , using the CompStat system , short for COMPuter STATistics), a system if applied judiciously and honestly creates best practices of accountability for Police Commanders. If you aren’t measuring it, how do you know if you are failing or succeeding?
♦ Create in the JCF and elite task-force to investigate while collar crimes , that includes every Jamaican, no one is above the laws.
♦ It’s time for a national Identification database, create one.
Jamaica must remove some of the voices from the debate if this thing is to be resolved . Many of the loudest voices pushing back against reform and solutions based suggestions, are the people benefiting from the culture of crime on the Island.
This law will not do a damn thing to bring murder down, murderers will simply slither out of whatever zones are designated at a given time, and move to other areas as they did in 2010.