Wed | Aug 23, 2017

JaRistotle’s Jottings | Willing or wimpy people?

Published:Thursday | June 22, 2017 | 6:00 AM

Like most of us, I am quite alarmed at the rate at which a mere handful of hooligans are slaughtering their fellow Jamaicans. The various commentaries, speeches and howls of indignation all have a common theme: we need to take a firm stance against these dog-hearts.

Problem is: those who are responsible for dealing with the issue don't seem to be willing to make the hard choices that are necessary if we are to curb this monster and make Jamaica safe for living, working and raising families.

People, we have a political structure and a police force that are rife with corruption. The justice system is archaic and overburdened. The penal system is far from reformatory. And we have laws that give more protection to the predators than to law-abiding citizens. How do we expect to progress, after being so far behind the eight ball if we lack the will to make the necessary hard choices? Are we wimps?

 

PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE

 

We need to move away from the mindset of crime-fighting to crime prevention. This means that we must invest in a first-class intelligence capability. Intelligence is not merely about getting information on who, what, where, when, etc. It is about transposing that information into the future, predicting where next, who next, when next, thus enabling the police to be in the right place at the right time to prevent murder and mayhem.

This requires the best minds the country has to offer, individuals who can see through the smoke and piece together the jigsaw puzzle. Anonymous people with integrity in an independent agency: keep them free from evil power, whether police or politician.

 

WALKING THE TALK

 

We are wasting time if we expect to successfully police communities which are devoid of basic utilities and social services such as piped water and garbage collection, and are not overwhelmed by stagnant water, mosquitoes, rats and like vermin. Social intervention is a must, regardless of geographical location or political leaning. Let's face it: respect begets respect, and if we want the support of the people, we must first show respect and address their basic living conditions. Legitimise ourselves in their lives.

 

EXPOSING AND ISOLATING THE CRIMINALS

 

Let's talk about rights - the people's rights. With rights and privileges come obligations. Our rights and privileges are supposed to be guaranteed under the law, assuming, of course, that we conduct ourselves according to the law. So when a bwoy decide fi tun shotta and spew murder and mayhem, the law should protect us, not dem. Sadly, the reality differs.

In traditional war, the enemy is readily identifiable; in our war, he is faceless. If we want to win this war and successfully prevent crime, we should be prepared to fight outside of the box, and take the fight to the enemy.

Picture this: the police name a person of interest - "John Doe of dark complexion, slim build and black hair". Dark complexion, black hair! That's all? It nuh mek sense! But publishing a picture removes all doubt. Di criminal dem know we, but we nuh know what dem look like. They walk among us, hidden in plain sight. So we need to deny them that space. Anywhere dem go, dem picture must be there. All eyes on them. No more living in the shadows.

If the lawyers cry foul, so what? Better to keep the cruffs off balance and off the streets than for us to be held prisoner in our own country.

When we know who they are, we will know the car, the house, the everything. And when we know the everything, dem going have to explain where dem get the money fi di car, di house, even di dawg. And if dem caa'n explain, we tek it weh. We tek di profit out of crime.

No government contracts for dem. If dem drop a sweetie paper on the road, charge dem fi littering. If dem cuss, charge dem fi using indecent language. Every day, dem must get up an go a court go spend money pon lawyer an fines. Eventually dem going walk the line or run way. Problem solved.

Dis a war! People, decision time deh pon wi. Are we going to be the willing or the wimps? You make the call.

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