Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Letter of the Day: Don’t blame the police

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many studies have been done to show the direct relationship between poor nutrition and violent crime. Two of these studies were mentioned in the media the 4th January 2016. They were reported by the National Institutes of Health at two universities in Phoenix Arizona USA. (http:/www.ncb.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10706231). These studies reveal that as malnutrition increases in an individual so does the endency towards violent and antisocial behaviour. Our Dr Vendryes in an article dated 3rd February 2016, also verifies that there is a connection between diet and our mental and emotional stability, depression, violence, suicide, homicide, abusive, irrational and antisocial behaviour that can occur with improper diet.

Older Jamaicans will remember these 'old time saying'

1. "A hungry man is a angry man"

2. "Idle dog kill bachra sheep"

Today violent crime is escalating and from the multitude of individuals one sees hanging about on the streets - so is unemployment. Many unemployed, especially men with a woman and six or seven children, find it extremely difficult to exist.

In desperation, and frustration, such individuals will steal anything they can find, just to get funds to feed their starving family. Soon the magnitude of their theft escalates and violence becomes part of the opus operandi sometimes ending in murder. These individuals are now uncaring and angry with society "a hungry man is an angry (violent) man".

The other scenario is the unemployed 'youth', some illiterate, many with college education. This group is generally smart, street wise, and frustrated. Unlike the earlier group mentioned they don't resort to the ordinary 'run of the mill' theft. They plan robberies and other nefarious schemes to make ends meet. They are involved in lotto scam, credit card theft, bogus insurance rackets, and electronic theft to name a few. (Idle dog kill bachra sheep).

Infighting between gangs and domestic murders are ongoing events. These are the areas that the police try to eradicate the gangs, and counsel against domestic violence, but like weed they keep on recurring. Presently many are blaming the police for not curbing the high incidence of crime. This is 'wrong, wrong, wrong'. One should first identify the cause (generally unemployment) and its effect (crime & violence). The police gets involved at the tail end of events, when there is complete failure and chaos in the chain of events, and the element of fear and insecurity sets in.(The horse of crime and violence has already escaped through the gate)

The Commissioner Dr Williams and his brave men put their lives on the line to correct a situation that has already gone bad and the police are constantly fine tuning methods of dealing with them. The crime resulting from unemployment can only be dealt with through governmental policies. Meaningful work must be provided for the mass.

No amount of policing can stop this crime wave as long as there is unemployment at this present level. 'A man must eat a food' is the current maxim among certain groups. A typical example is the group in the scrap iron trade, who will go about stealing valuable, articles e.g. equipment, machinery, copper & aluminum cables, valuing million of dollars and sell them for "monkey money". Unfortunately some of these individuals graduate from petty thieves and miscreants to harden criminals.

G. Martin