Stop glorifying crime, says Hyde
The ongoing glorification of criminal activities by media houses is feeding the crime monster and must be halted if the country is to have any chance of reining in this scourge, according to Earl Hyde, chairman of the St Catherine Parish Development Committee.
Hyde voiced his concern that crimes, and the people committing them, are getting too much unwarranted publicity at The Gleaner's Municipal Corporation Forum at the Social Development Commission's offices on Monday.
"I have concerns about the way we deal with crime in Jamaica, generally. The police should be commended for the work that they are doing, but when I look at the situation, I have grave concerns with the way we are advertising crime - like how we advertised ice and Vienna sausage. Crime is getting too much headline publicity and the people out there who are committing crime."
He argued that as a result, gangsters can now look forward to making prime-time news, guaranteeing them bragging rights and a place of honour in the criminal underground.
"If you should go round there you hear them say, 'Yeah, man. A me that. You see me pon the news last night? A me that, man.'
"We need to tone down," Hyde pleaded.
"I remember years ago when I was in school and the Teddy boys riots in England and the Government told the media, 'No headline now. Put it in the middle of the paper or at the back of the paper' and crime went right down. We need to do that in Jamaica," he insisted.
While this newspaper was unable to verify Hyde's claim of the State sanctioning of the media, in August 1958 Nottingham was the scene of some of the worst racial violence Britain has ever experienced.