Letter Of The Day | Only we can stop the crime wave in beautiful Jamaica
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Sweet, sweet Jamaica...naw lef yah , this is the land of my birth, nuh better than yard... were songs some decades ago and more and more of these songs will be echoing over the airwaves as we approach our 54 years of independence from Britain the 'mother land'. 'Jamaica, the land of wood and water' is indeed a beautiful one and has been internationally recognised for its food, jerk pork, reggae music, beaches, dubs, river, among other things. The country's number one asset is its people, but sad to say that the same is true that they are its worst liability.
Crime and violence are threatening to erode the gains made by great men and women, both past and present. The island which was once known as the land of wood and water is now seen as the land of drugs, guns and scammers. The security forces have their hands full trying to curtail criminals from unleashing terror on anything or anyone in their path. Pregnant women, disabled men, school children, pastors, missionaries, babies, tourists, and not even animals are exempted from being brutally killed. The local news is sounding more and more like a scary action movie update, with child killed by father, four killed in drive by shooting, human's head found on road side, man stabbed to death, house fire bombed...etc, becoming the norm.
In 2010 various countries had released travel advisories to their citizens, with the view of deterring them from visiting Jamaica. This was due to the state of emergency imposed in west Kingston to capture the now incarcerated 'area leader' Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. In May of this year, two American missionaries were murdered, in June a Canadian visitor was murdered in his attempt to prevent his girlfriend from being robbed.
Foreigners were left in tears after receiving calls from 876 numbers because Jamaican scammers wheel their way into their life savings, leaving them without a dime. Parishes that were once seen as quiet and peaceful now have being over-run by migrated thugs from Kingston, St Catherine and Clarendon. The second city has seemingly become a war zone, with the police yellow tape surrounding the parish.
There are calls for the police commissioner to step down, there are calls for a state of emergency to be imposed to stem the level of violence being perpetuated in some quarters. Sacking the commissioner or imposing a state of emergency will not solve Jamaica's crime problem; that will only act like a band aid over a wound. Jamaica needs a social intervention, starting in the homes and the communities that rubbish the notion that 'informer fi dead' and that you are to 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil'. It is going to take parents teaching their children good morals, values and attitude, teaching them to satisfy and respect others. The people need to be taught how to use conflict resolution techniques and the state implementing restorative justice to solve ongoing feuds.
Jamaica's 2030 vision can only materialise if its greatest asset, its people, show love, forgive and be their brother's keeper. It is going to take the efforts of everyone holding hands for a better Jamaica.
I am etc