Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Strategies, not luck, will solve crime problem

Published:Tuesday | January 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

When the minister of national security, Peter Bunting, showered praises on the Jamaica Constabulary Force for what he termed a significant reduction of 16 per cent in murders for 2014, I could not help but recall my boyhood days on the cricket field.

Every now and then, other players and spectators would be stunned into silence as they watched some of the most incompetent fielders take amazing catches. The term we used for these 'amazing catches' was 'buck-up' - meaning pure chance.

But if one felt that the minister's praise for the police reflected poor analysis, try to find a suitable description for his assertion that this result came about through 'smart policing'.

The minister's pronouncement about smart policing is ludicrous since the most significant element in solving crime continues to elude the police: that is, apprehending and convicting those who are guilty of committing the crime.

Failure to put away those who commit crime helps to fuel crime. Besides emboldening the wrongdoers, it prevents us from knowing how extensive the network of criminals is.

By not catching those who commit murder, we do not know whether it is a few persons who are repeatedly committing these murders or the many murders are being committed by a larger number of persons.


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Solving murders cannot be left up to untrained and unsophisticated policing. It can't be beyond the capacity of the Police High Command to realise that it is beyond the capability of most police stations to carry out the kind of investigative activities that are likely to result in apprehending murderers.

I suggest, therefore, that the force immediately recruit a cadre of about 300 men and women, with a minimum of a first degree, who can be trained to master the most modern and sophisticated crime-fighting technology and methodology. These men and women must do no other duties in the force than investigate murders.