Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Letter of the day: Come clean on crime data, ACP Powell

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Ealan Powell ... the Jamaica Constabulary Force arrested 700 persons for murder in 2015.


A recent report coming out of another newspaper quoting Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell as saying that the Jamaica Constabulary Force arrested 700 persons for murder in 2015 leaves more questions than answers.

For starters, Mr Powell needs to tell the nation if all, or how many, of these 700 persons have been formally charged and will be facing a trial (in a timely manner) for murder.

Second, if a formal charge of murder was not able to be laid against some, for whatever reason(s) were these persons released? Or are they being detained until such formal charge can be made against them?

Finally, how many of these 700 persons are out on bail?

The answers to these questions become urgent against the background that even with the arrest of 700 persons in one year for murder, within that said year, the country lost more than 1,200 of its citizens to murder!

The ugly implication of this scenario is that if we were able to remove 700 or even 500 murderers from society and put them in jail, where they were unable to carry out any act of murder in the wider society, yet we ended the year with a runaway murder figure, it would be safe to say that the country is flooded with murderers.

In light of this, I would urge the police to move with haste to determine the validity of murder charges preferred against those 700 persons arrested in 2015.

It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to tell us that it is only by apprehending at least a significant number of the real murderers that the nation will be able to scientifically determine what is the true magnitude of the murder problem we are facing.



Like the wider society, the security forces are trapped in a perennial cycle of low productivity, which consigns them to producing results that would be unacceptable even in the 1960s. Lest we forget, productivity is about getting the best results using what is available to you.

It is pitiful to hear the police continue to hide their incompetence under the disguise of lack of resources. The most significant resource that the police force is lacking is creative initiative and critical analysis. And, like in any other professional domain, if those who occupy the positions are not able to supply these, they must be removed forthwith and allow those who can, to take over.

The two biggest contributors to murder in Jamaica is the confidence swelling up in the hearts of criminals that they will not be caught, and the security forces' incompetence to apprehend the criminals.

How much longer must this country bleed before persons who occupy critical areas, but are incapable of providing the required results, show some love and regard for our people by admitting that the task is too much for them, and ride off into the sunset?