Include crime reduction in new IMF pact
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It should be clear to all by now that restoration of law and order ought to be among our most urgent priorities as a nation. Despite the best efforts of successive governments, crime continues to flourish while our national security and justice systems flounder.
It is, therefore, not surprising that among the urgent reforms identified by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission in its latest review, to achieve "higher growth and job creation", is the combating of crime.
The US Department of State, in its Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2015 for Jamaica, went even further by stating, among other things, "The most serious human-rights issues were an overburdened, under-resourced, and dysfunctional judicial system, which obstructed access to justice for victims of crime and their families ... ."
Although the IMF's main focus is on economic reform, bearing in mind the stultifying effect of crime and corruption on Jamaica's
economic growth, should the Government, Opposition, business leaders and others with whom the IMF consults in the course of its reviews not take the bold and
necessary step of asking that law and order be included as one of the subjects for urgent reform under any new agreement with the IMF?
Not only would this elicit expert technical assistance from the IMF and other partners, but it would also ensure that effective reform measures with structural benchmarks are included in future letters of intent to the IMF.
As hard to swallow as such a request would be for most Jamaicans, it would be better to get the help we so badly need than to continue to suffer the deleterious effects of crime and the embarrassing comments appearing in the international media.