Violent Crimes Cannot Be Wished Away, We Must Eviscerate The Violence Producers…


Over the years as crime con­tin­ue to take cen­ter stage in Jamaica, calls have gone out from var­i­ous quar­ters about what to do about it.
Some of those sug­ges­tions have ranged from the inane to the down­right ridicu­lous.
Suggestions include becom­ing the 51st state of the United States.
That inane sug­ges­tion missed the point that Washington DC, which is large­ly Black and Puerto Rico which is over­whelm­ing­ly Hispanic, are still unable to receive state­hood exact­ly because of their eth­nic com­po­si­tions.
Other sug­ges­tions include Divine Intervention.
Sure, let us just drop our hands and wait for God to come down and fix this crime prob­lem we have.…… let us see how that will turn out!

The actu­al truth is that Jamaica has a prob­lem of lead­er­ship. Arrogance and igno­rance are the two char­ac­ter­is­tics most present in the mix, this brew is result­ing in the crime lev­els the coun­try is expe­ri­enc­ing.
Don’t expect that this prog­no­sis will make a lick of dif­fer­ence in the hyper-polar­ized swamp that our coun­try has become.
For one, we have lead­ers who have nev­er done a ride-along with the police, first because they would shit their pants at the inher­ent dan­ger, sec­ond­ly, they are too shit scared to risk their lives, so they can­not for a moment under­stand the polices point of view, par­tic­u­lar­ly for the pal­try remu­ner­a­tions the police receive any­way.
The total­i­ty of the Island’s crime prob­lem may be summed up in a sin­gle sen­tence. On the one hand, we have the arro­gant pricks in both polit­i­cal par­ties who are unwill­ing to sup­port tough anti-crime mea­sures because they are mixed up with the crim­i­nal gangs, and on the oth­er, there are those who have no idea about what they are leg­is­lat­ing out­side their myopic parochial world­view. God for­bid they would say, “I need to be edu­cat­ed on this”.

If you don’t know where you are going you may very well already be there. If you want to end up east, it would be a good idea not to head west.
Jamaica’s law enforce­ment efforts may be summed up as head­ing east though it wants to end up west.
For years, admin­is­tra­tions in Kingston have rou­tine­ly starved the police depart­ment of sup­port, as a means of estab­lish­ing bona fides with the crim­i­nals inside their bases of sup­ports (gar­risons).
Not nec­es­sar­i­ly because all of the polit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives who rep­re­sent­ed gar­risons were nec­es­sar­i­ly crim­i­nals, but because they want­ed the perks and trap­pings of polit­i­cal office, and stay­ing in pow­er was the way to have those perks.
As a con­se­quence of their rapa­cious and craven desires to hold onto pow­er, many start­ed out as decent peo­ple but giv­en enough time, through omis­sion and com­mis­sion, they became just as dirty as the guys who pulled the trig­ger.

If the police clear­ly see that their polit­i­cal boss­es are sup­port­ing the peo­ple they are sup­posed to be arrest­ing. Not pay­ing them a liv­able wage. Not giv­ing them the tools to do their jobs. Actively and demon­stra­bly exact­ing puni­tive con­se­quences on them when they do their sworn duties in arrest­ing gang­sters from the gar­risons. Why would they stay true to their oath?
If oth­er branch­es of the very same gov­ern­ment are social­ized to hate the police because the politi­cians have so polar­ized the coun­try against the rule of law, how can the coun­try rea­son­ably expect to have a pro­fes­sion­al and com­pe­tent police force?
In a coun­try in which get­ting, a gov­ern­ment job is impor­tant because the pri­vate sec­tor is too small, and there­fore unable to effec­tive­ly assim­i­late the avail­able tal­ent, the five to six hun­dred police offi­cers who leave the force each year is a telling sign that they do not like what they see with­in the depart­ment.

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There are 63 so-called law­mak­ers in the low­er cham­ber of the leg­is­la­ture in addi­tion to those who are appoint­ed sen­a­tors and the oth­er ticky-ticky called parish coun­cilors and the oth­er hang­ers-on.
That is where Jamaica’s crime prob­lem lies.
The social­iza­tion of the Jamaican peo­ple to not hav­ing respect for the rule of law and those who enforce the laws did not hap­pen overnight.
It is a time ‑test­ed strat­e­gy designed as I said pre­vi­ous­ly, to cur­ry favor with the mass­es.
Today, the dynam­ics are the same, even though there may be some desire to change the crime tra­jec­to­ry, hav­ing lost most of their con­trol over the gang­sters today’s politi­cians do car­ry a feel­ing of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty.
Nevertheless, the desire to hold onto office is still para­mount. Politicians today have to cater to the wider vot­er base than their pre­de­ces­sors did a gen­er­a­tion ago.
This gen­er­a­tion was raised to have no respect for the rule of law.
No one wants to acknowl­edge that deal­ing harsh­ly and deci­sive­ly with the gang­sters is whats need­ed, the trap­pings of pow­er are far too impor­tant.
No one wants to accept that that deci­sive­ness must be cod­i­fied into laws and that it will be the deter­rent effect of those laws which will work toward chang­ing the matrix.
The Islands polit­i­cal lead­ers feel they have to appease this gen­er­a­tion of vot­ers, a gen­er­a­tion that has been schooled into believ­ing that cit­i­zen­ship is a right they have which comes with no respon­si­bil­i­ties.
A friend respond­ing to an arti­cle I wrote recent­ly about the taps on the wrist some cor­rupt judges were hand­ing out to gang­sters found with ille­gal guns, asked me If I was aware that some of the judges may be scared them­selves to hand out appro­pri­ate­ly tough sen­tences?
My think­ing is that remov­ing them from the streets through long sen­tences would be the way to go, but I under­stood the point he raised.

The range of sug­ges­tions con­tin­ues large­ly from the edi­to­r­i­al boards of the media hous­es. The very same media hous­es which told peo­ple to attack the police. The media hous­es who told peo­ple to [throw stones] at police sta­tions. (Of course, they don’t stone the sta­tions any­more, they evolved into using auto­mat­ic weapons fire today).
And arguably most insid­i­ous of all, it was the media hous­es which gave plat­forms to paid mourn­ers and oth­ers sent out from the gar­risons, to lie as they block roads and claim that police had mur­dered their loved ones in cold blood. These paid and forced sup­posed eye­wit­ness­es were always omnipresent at 3: 00 or 4:00 am when the police come call­ing on the mur­der­ous gang­sters.
Even though the unscrupu­lous media knew that the out­raged crowds were fakes and frauds, that they were lying, their lack of jour­nal­is­tic integri­ty was nowhere to be found. They allowed them to lie day in and day out, on radio and tele­vi­sion and in the print media. And now we have a coun­try which is almost ungovern­able.

So for exam­ple when I was a mem­ber of the Ranger Squad in the mid 80’s there were shoot­ings, but there is no way a sit­u­a­tion would exist on low­er moun­tain View Avenue where the “police” are warn­ing motorists not to enter the area because gang­sters with high-pow­ered weapons are in con­trol.
We would go get them, and they know it, we weren’t play­ing around. But the Prime Minister of the coun­try who is being mar­ket­ed as a one-man-know-it-all, will solve every prob­lem in the coun­try. He got him­self involved in the sym­me­try of law-enforce­ment.
He tells police what they can and can­not do, even though he nev­er did a ride-along and does not know any­thing about deal­ing with dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals.
He says the days of police offi­cers kick­ing down doors are over. I am yet to fig­ure out where he gets the author­i­ty to make those dic­tates.
He even involves him­self in day to day polic­ing pro­to­cols by direct­ing the police com­mis­sion­er to inves­ti­gate things that clear­ly are not with­in his remit.

The idea that we can plant a field of corn and sit in antic­i­pa­tion of a har­vest of rice, is the very def­i­n­i­tion of stu­pid­i­ty.
You and I know that the mea­sures employed will not have long term pos­i­tive effects. I have said so here for years. Applying aband-aid to a gun­shot wound can hard­ly stop the bleed­ing, much less repair the dam­age inter­nal­ly.
Jamaicans are dying from a cri­sis of will, a cri­sis of com­pe­tent and hon­est polit­i­cal lead­er­ship.
From the car­nage on the roads to the gang­ster par­adise that our coun­try has become, there is only one rem­e­dy and it is not sweet and syrupy.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid 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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