With over 1300 homicides in 2019, murders happening in Zones Of Special Operations and in spaces in which there are active States of Emergencies in place, there is no justification for the status quo.
Several individuals overseas have offered their services to the Jamaican Government to help with solving this monster which is robbing the country of its human and economic treasures and potential. Unfortunately, to date, there has been silence from the administration in Jamaica House, despite the continued elevated levels of homicides and other violent felonies being committed daily.
Not every person who claims to have expertise may offer up good or practical ideas on how to proceed on this critical matter.
Nevertheless, even a broken clock is right twice per day. On that basis alone, it is incomprehensible that the administration would not jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the offers of help.
The Government could easily form a blue-ribbon panel to consider the suggestions. A blue-ribbon panel that does not include anyone from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the other know-nothing, know-it-alls, whose ideas got us into this pickle in the first place.
Failure to accept offers of help and seriously consider the proposals put forward will confirm what many people both locally and abroad already believe, that politicians are heavily invested in the state of criminality in the country.
For our part, we have suggested over the last decade that the nation needs comprehensive resocialization of our people. Since Government cannot legislate moral values in the home, it should begin by doing so in the schools.
For years I have called for a closer look at bringing young people not going to college or trade schools under the tutelage of some kind of program, run and supervised by the Jamaica Defense Force. That program would not include tactics and or strategies that could be used against the country if the individual chooses to step outside the laws.
Discipline and Civic duty and responsibility are critical components in nation-building. None of these proposals have been acted on in a fulsome way, and as is customary the proposals are being regurgitated locally as if they are novel ideas.
In 2013, three years after the INDECOM act was passed and it came up for review, I wrote several articles begging the then administration to change aspects of the law, to completely repeal and replace it, or pay for inaction later.
The law came up for review, as it has reasonably been designed to after 3 years. At the time the Police, Military and even the Minister of National Security came out against the Act.
Minister of National Security at the time Peter Bunting did not mince words in relation to the Act. quote: This commission is too powerful!
Nothing substantive, if at all, was done by the parliament and the Act was allowed to remain.
The damage to the rule of law in the country since then, will never be known. Notwithstanding, it is clear that what emanated from the last decade of the INDECOM Act, is that we have a police department that is completely immobilized and unwilling to get involved in fighting crime, out of fear of being criminalized.
That is not to say that INDECOM is solely to blame for the high level of violent crime in the country. Far from it, nevertheless, the last thing that the police needed was a [rabid dog] with a personal agenda, who is willing to coach and coerce witnesses to lie in order to build criminal cases against police officers simply for doing their jobs.
On that score, INDECOM and Terrence Williams have become a sanctuary for the criminal gangs operating on the Island, comparable only to the political cover under which ’70s and 80’s gangsters operated with impunity.
Today, the single most astounding thing to me as a former front line crime fighter, is the ignorance and bone-headedness of the present administration in its belief that violent crime can be contained by a show of red seams and camouflage uniforms.
High law enforcement visibility is a deterrent for some categories of crimes and offenses. Traffic offenses simple larcenies, etc
Vigilant police patrols are a deterrent to breakings, burglaries, robberies, and other offenses of that nature.
Great criminal investigators with the appropriate working knowledge of criminals and their modus operandi, who are unafraid to take them down one way or another, are the only deterrent to gangland activity.
That is the reason that despite the smoke-screens called ZOSO and the SOE’s there has been an increase in violent crimes, and dangerous killers are not being held accountable neither in the courts on any significant level, or are they being neutralized by the police.
The Island’s political leadership, and the Prime Minister, in particular, continue to play politics on this issue. In the meantime, in the last decade alone, over 16,000 Jamaicans have lost their lives violently.
The laws are not nearly tough enough. The police are not nearly as effective as they should be, because the real officers who want to make a difference have no guaranteed path in this JCF, and are fearful of being criminalized.
In the meantime, the average joe on the street have no respect for the laws.
They are unperturbed by the presence of the police and are quite willing to drape officers in their uniforms and beat the hell out of them. (Ashes cold dawg sleep in de).
This is a new year, it requires new ideas, humility, and introspection. Clearly, the strategies employed in dealing with violent crimes over the last three years are [not]working.
And so I beseech the Prime Minister to change course. “You have the power and the office to lead on this seminal issue”.
“Mister Prime Minister, it is only great leaders who have the humility to say I made a mistake”. Violent criminals require a firm hand. A very firm hand.
Do not be deluded any longer into thinking that flooding neighborhoods with the uniformed bodies of poorly trained police officers and soldiers are the solution to these killings.
They are not.
Too many innocent people have died because your administration and others before it refused to act decisively against criminals. The ball is in your court, you do not want any more blood on your hands.
You are the leader of the country.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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