Letter of the day | Stop the speeches and start hunting
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent spate of criminal activities, in particular in St James, has provided the opportunity for politicians to grandstand and make pretty speeches about criminal activities.
The harsh reality is that several of the communities that are factories for criminals were either created by politicians or, in many cases, politicians exercised wilful blindness as these squatter and informal settlements were being established.
Any analysis of the crime situation in St James will show that many of the perpetrators are from informal or squatter communities. Many of us have for years warned that these squatter and informal communities are breeding grounds for criminals and are communities in which normal proper policing cannot be practised or enforced.
These communities have no proper road network and so criminals can disappear in them knowing there is no street number or any formal system of addresses. Most squatter communities need an enforcer to protect the squatters from persons who might seek to evict them from occupation of lands belonging to the State or other persons. This is the foundation on which the dons, the extortionists and the enforcers build their kingdoms of crime.
No amount of pretty speeches will bring about a solution to the crime monster now haunting the country. Experience has shown that there is one and only one activity that the criminal gunmen all fear - be he a don or a little petty criminal - and that activity is 'The Hunt'. If we look at the history of the dons in Jamaica, or if we go as far as to look at ex-president Saddam Hussein of Iraq, there is one and only one activity that they all fear, and that is 'The Hunt'. We will not get on top of the crime situation without putting in place a dedicated, reliable, trustworthy and effective system of hunting the criminals.
'The Hunt' generates fear in the baddest gunmen. 'The Hunt' removes from the gunmen the sense of comfort and confidence that they will not be captured. We need a team from the army and the police who are highly trained, well-motivated and properly equipped with both weapons transportation and electronic monitoring devices to launch a hunt for all the arrogant and oppressive gunmen who believe that they can do anything, anywhere, anyhow without any repercussion.
If we take a look at the experience of countries that had a difficulty with criminals as we are now having, we will see that those countries never hesitated to embark upon 'The Hunt'. We will also note that the bravest of gunman is always brought to his trembling knees when he becomes aware that he is being effectively hunted.
Finally, the hunted, that is to say, the gunmen, must be given the option of turning themselves in and subjecting themselves to the laws of the land. We should not, however, wait on them. We should leave it up to them to decide whether they are prepared to come in and submit themselves to the laws of the land, or if they would rather be subjected to 'The Hunt'.
Linton P. Gordon