Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Letter of the Day | Manchester wants action on crime

Published:Monday | July 4, 2016 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Up to June 14, 2016, the Manchester police reported a four per cent reduction in the overall crime reported within the parish, and a 15 per cent reduction in murder for the corresponding period during 2015. While this is a trend in the right direction, what is happening is cause for concern as one life taken illegally is one too many.

The police reported yet another murder of a businessman from the parish. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Michael (Mel) Levy and wish that the police will have an early breakthrough in solving this crime.

Manchester is experiencing renewed interest in development, and steps are afoot to grow its economy and social settings. The support is coming from those within and outside of the parish, but with these latest developments in crime, the confidence and interest will eventually be eroded.

Manchester needs the full attention for crime-fighting and prevention, not only from the operational level with the police, but also from the government level in policies. We therefore call on the Government to consider Manchester a hotspot, and to be bold and decisive in addressing the crime situation. We, as citizens, must help in finding the solutions.

One solution is increased trust between the police and the ordinary citizens. But, how do we build this? Certainly, community-based policing is one way of doing so. We need to see and know our police officers. This strategy can help the police in being proactive in crime-fighting and prevention. The police must be seen as the authority and be respected and feared. Let us start with town hall meetings to hear all concerns and try to stop crime before it occurs.

It is now four months since the formation of the new government, and we are asking the national security minister to outline the plans and strategies to control crime, with specific timelines. We are not asking for the fine details, but he must build partnerships with all stakeholders and give us assurance.

Targeting crime hotspots was part of the Government's (JLP) manifesto during the election campaign. We are now asking for full delivery.

GARFIELD S. GREEN

President, Manchester Chamber of Commerce