Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Letter of the Day: Intensify raids, police presence in crime zones

Published:Friday | July 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The ugly scourge of shootings and homicides is causing the death of Jamaica's productivity and development. The crippling wave of crime is so dangerously becoming the norm that raising an alarm seems not to disturb many citizens in Jamaica.

The fact that Jamaicans are not agitating through frequent street marches and other means of protest should not be interpreted as tolerance. The impression should not be given that policing in Jamaica is reactive rather than proactive. Jamaica needs proactive policing whether crime decreases or seems to be under control.

The solution to decrease the crime rate is constant patrolling and surveillance along with constant raids of crime hotspots in Kingston, Montego Bay and parts of St Catherine. Currently, the criminals are moving from urban environments to rural areas and from one parish to adjoining ones.

Once police-military raids are conducted, there should be follow-up friendly community visits. These are designed to strengthen the relationship with the citizens within communities. The security force should arrange for information sessions once every three months and workable contact numbers should be shared with the citizens, so meaningful communication is sustained.

The criminals tend to retreat to rural areas when raids are carried out in the cities. Spot checks at critical junctions leading to rural communities should be increased. This will result in the detection and identification of criminals on the move. The security forces cannot ease up, because, once this occurs, the criminals will resume their rampage and illegal activities.

 

ACCESS AND AWARENESS

 

In the case of Montego Bay, increased efforts should be made to fix the roads leading from the city to rural communities. This will enable ease in policing the hilly terrains surrounding the city.

When faced with the crisis of crime, this is the perfect time to collaborate and utilise the best ideas to deal with this social problem. The challenge of fighting crime is everybody's concern, and lawmakers and leaders should avoid laying blame and passing off their responsibilities.

Let us work together and make it a priority to confront crime, so we can live peaceably in Jamaica.

PAUL GYLES

Professor, NCU

pgyles@ncu.edu.jm