Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Former police commissioner not impressed with crime plan

Published:Thursday | February 23, 2017 | 2:00 AMRyon Jones
Hardley Lewin
A police officer removing the tint from the window of a coaster bus in downtown Kingston recently.
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Former Commissioner of Police Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has described announcements made by the Government just over a week ago to tackle the nation's crime problem as a knee-jerk reaction and is calling for "carefully thought out measures that are focused, doable and sustainable".

Among other measures, the Government outlined the use of preventative detention of potential offenders to help to contain crime.

But Lewin is of the view that the legislation and tools already in place have not been fully utilise.

"In order to deal with criminal enterprises, there is not a lot of point in dealing with the foot soldiers; you have to go to the heart of it. So that is why I say target the centre of gravity of the criminal enterprises and you do this in a whole variety of ways; we have legislation to treat with a number of those things," Lewin charged.

"We have not made maximum use of all the tools that we have to deal with this matter, such as proceeds of crime, in a targeted and sustained manner. The tools are there and if we start to target the thing seriously then we will see where we have some gaps and plug the gaps as they occur."

 

 ...We need to restore order - Lewin

Former Commissioner of Police Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin believes that the Government's move to remove tints from all public passenger vehicles as part of its crime fighting strategy is only the first step needed in dealing with the mayhem on the roads.

"We have to restore order; we have to start moving to make Jamaica an orderly society because it is on that order that we are going to build everything else," Lewin said. "Criminality thrives in a state of disorder. We see it every day and we live in it and we have to start by tackling that. And it can't be a flash in the pan and then abandoned later on; it has to be sustained."

He is also calling for communities to be improved, which he thinks does not require billions of dollars, but is vital if crime reduction to be sustained.

 

RESTORATION OF COMMUNITIES

 

"While it would be nice to have more money to invest, I don't think it is a showstopper," Lewin said. "Because what we really need to start the beginning of restoration of communities is really just to do the things that every citizen expects to be done - the garbage collection, the streetlights, do not have sewage running on the streets, etc."

Lewin is of the view that one of the major issues the leadership of the country has to confront is the high level of cynicism and scepticism which they should not allow their own words and actions to fuel.

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com