Tue | Feb 18, 2020

Criminals will return, says Tomlinson

Published:Friday | August 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Milton Tomlinson

A reduction in serious and violent crimes so far this year, over last year, has been attributed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to being the direct result of Government's secret crime strategy. But Milton Tomlinson of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) believes that criminals are just waiting for the right moment to resurface.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Tomlinson said that it was up to the Government to ensure that it did not happen.

"The reduction in murders is as a result of the criminal elements going underground because the security forces are out in the streets in numbers. That doesn't mean that things are getting better. What it means is that these guys don't want to lose their weapons. For me, I wouldn't start dancing yet to the present crime statistics," Tomlinson reasoned.

"Remember that they can't walk with their guns freely in places where the homicide rates were once high. What I want to see are systems and programmes. If the programmes come in place, where they can have the security aspect run alongside the social interven-tions, then you can start to effect real change," the PMI official said.

The latest police crime statistics indicate that violent and serious crimes have gone down by almost 17 per cent so far compared to the January to August 11 period last year.

He pointed to major successes happening in certain communities but said that many of the poor social behaviours in society were being perpetuated.