In a recent forum, I spoke to the lie that poverty is the driver of crime in Jamaica.
I sought to debunk that myth by arguing that there is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that poverty is the driver of crime as it is in Jamaica.
If that were true the poorest nations would be the most violent and murderous nations.
Admittedly petty thieves and other hustling has some connection to poverty, not the heinous killings we are seeing in Jamaica.
The killings in Jamaica stems from a couple of things.
(1) Societal and Governmental acquiescence.
(3) Political protection of criminals. et al.
Cuba which is 90 miles from our shores and a population of 12 million people well over four times that of Jamaica has far less crime even though the standard of living of Jamaicans is far higher.
Vietnam. Indonesia. Ghana, most African nations not controlled by terrorists, you name it, all of the really poor nations have lower per capita crime than Jamaica does.
Conversely, if we look at nations like Mexico, (previously in Colombia), Guatemala, Sub-Saharan Africa where Terrorism has taken over as it has in Jamaica, it is as a result of Government corruption and hindrance of the forces of law and order to do their jobs.
The greed I alluded to transcend the average thugs who are murdering people for their property, those who kill for the ill-gotten spoils of the lotto scam trade it extends to the Government’s myopic schenes to draw in large sums of cash from the public without giving thought to the consequences going forward.
Last year the government granted a Traffic Ticket Amnesty, in which outstanding tickets issued between September 1, 2010, and July 31, 2017, could be paid without penalties.The three-month amnesty took effect on August 2, 2017.
The initiative by the government was aimed at increasing revenue by collecting the outstanding amounts owed by delinquent motorists.
Minister of National Security Robert Montague told the House of Representatives in July 2017 that data showed outstanding traffic tickets totaled $2.2 billion.
Additionally, there is approximately $566 million in outstanding payments owed to the courts by motorists who contested the offense and were fined after being found guilty up to December 31, 2016.
Tax Administration Jamaica confirmed that approximately $300 million was collected since the start of the amnesty, the second in the last five years. About $340 million was collected in the first amnesty in 2012/13.(observer.com)
SOCIETAL AND GOVERNMENTAL ACQUIESCENCE
As the crime rate burgeons out of control, it is evident that the Administration is determined to take actions which will have long-term negative consequences for the rule of law.
This will continue to place the lives of the members of the security forces and the average citizens at further risks.
As the Government has done using the Ministry of Justice and Delroy Chuck to offer mindless mass murderers massive concessions for pleading guilty, so too is Robert Montague being used to take shortcuts in the interest of cash, while the long-term consequences gather like an ominous storm cloud on the distant horizon.
The images of motorists fighting with police officers who seek to bring sanity to the mass chaos of the indisciplined roadways are real.
It is a jungle of madness in which officers place their lives on the line simply by asking a bus driver or illegal taxi-operator to move from one location to another.
Offering amnesty to these offenders flies in the face of the hard work of these officers.
POLITICAL PROTECTION OF CRIMINALS
It is a rapacious and short-sighted approach which is stupid, regressive and downright retarded.
Traffic ticket amnesty does nothing but empowers traffic offenders to ignore paying for their tickets and simply await the next amnesty, upon which they are given a massive discount for thumbing their noses at the laws.
It rewards offenders not just for the traffic offense they initially committed but for ignoring paying for the ticket afterward.
The simple solution is to suspend their driver’s licenses, make it impossible for them to register their vehicles and subject them to arrest whenever they are caught.
Why wonder why there is corruption in the police department when the administration thwart the efforts of the police at every turn?