Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Stakeholder-driven crime plan needed - Senator Sinclair

Published:Tuesday | June 27, 2017 | 6:00 AMAdrian Frater
Charles Sinclair
Police on one of the many murder scenes in St James.
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Western Bureau:

As stakeholders continued to grapple with a solution to crime in St James, government senator Charles Sinclair is calling for a summit to examine all the contending views.

"It is my view that there needs to be a joint sector leaders' summit in St James, to include the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Peace Management Initiative, Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the Social Development Commission, and the political directorate," said Sinclair.

"Each of the leaders must be prepared to conclude that summit with a full understanding as to the problem that exists, where it exists, the solutions to the problem, and how same will be effectively implemented."

"There must be a joint statement to the public, speaking with one voice, on how this region, with its peculiarities, should address this crime monster, and in particular the murder rate," added Sinclair.

Once there is consensus, Sinclair, who is the councillor for the Flanker division of the St James Municipal Corporation, says it should strengthen their hand to make demands on the Government.

"They (stakeholders) should also be prepared to demand of Government the appropriate specific short-, medium- and long-term strategies to ensure the suppression of major crime," continued Sinclair.

He is also calling on the Ministry of National Security to provide additional police personnel, motor cars and bikes to St James, noting that despite several programmes to drive upward mobility, crime continued to strangle the parish.

'We cannot sit back in our gated communities'

"The economy of St James is growing, jobs are being created. CSJP claims to have invested millions into effecting social reform. PMI has appointed persons as "violence interrupters" and politicians have put in massive infrastructure in communities such as Flanker, Providence, Lilliput, Barrett Town, Norwood and other areas," said Sinclair. "Parliament has passed several pieces of legislation to take the profit out of crime and to dismantle gangs. In spite of these positives, the killing continues.

"I readily confess that I don't have all the answers, and it is in that context that I plead for a joint summit of stakeholders to look at this issue in a fullsome way and to determine what must be done," said Sinclair. "We cannot sit back in our secured gated communities and ivory castles and not put our all to the wheel to curb this crime wave. Let's not waste another moment."