War on crime not lost, says Semaj
On its current trajectory, the country's homicide rate will do record numbers come year end.
However, according to noted psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj, the war on crime is still very much in the balance, but will require greater focus on the part of lawmakers and law enforcers.
"I know we can win because we're smarter than them (criminals). It's just that they're more committed to their objectives than we are. We talk, but they act. They're totally committed to their mission statement, vision statement, and their values. We as a nation need to be as committed, if not more committed to our mission, vision, and values if we're to defeat them," Semaj told The Gleaner during a recent interview addressing the state of the nation's at-risk youth.
With a full three months remaining in the year, the murder tally has long passed 1,000, and by all indications, should eclipse the staggering 1,350 mark recorded last year.
Zones of Special Operations
In an attempt to contain the crime monster, legislators have since passed the Zones of Special Operations Bill, which seeks to restore order to volatile communities and maintain law through social intervention programmes.
To this end, Semaj has argued that only through re-engaging the country's more than 400,000 unattached youth can true progress be made.
He stated, "If you're not productive, you'll become destructive, and that's what we're seeing. In September 1996, the cover of The Economist Magazine said that the biggest problem the Western World was going to have is: "young males, uneducated, unemployed, unemployable, unmarried". So, all this was predicted and unless we find a way to reconnect with the large number of unattached, we won't move forward. We can't build enough prisons. We must take any and every opportunity we get to address them directly and try to get to their hearts."