Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Letter of the Day | Let's take back Jamaica from criminals

Published:Monday | January 2, 2017 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

With the upsurge in crime, it is of extreme importance that we, as citizens, do not jump ahead of ourselves and blame a particular political party for this, as I have repeatedly been seeing on various social-media platforms. As humans, we are designed to assign the blame to someone or something. But to whom do we consign such blame? Is it that we blatantly blame the present Government for allowing it to spiral out of control? Or do we blame politics in general with its societal development faÁade? Or do we, the citizens, play an equal part in the breakdown of law and order?

For years, we have been told what the causes of crime are poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, etc. But what has the Government done to address these issues? Yes, they might have implemented various work programmes and partnered with various NGOs and IGOs to reduce the rates of poverty and illiteracy, but they themselves have proven to be ineffective.

There has been persistent advocacy for the reform of the criminal justice system, taking into consideration all its pillars - the police, the courts and correctional service. But it seems as if more 'important' things have taken precedence over the deliberation process.

Recently, we received news of the impending departure of the commissioner of police with various speculations of 'pressure'. The proverb 'If yuh caah tek di heat, stay outta di kitchen' doesn't fit this occasion, because if we continue to run away, the problem will still be there like a time bomb, waiting for the perfect moment to explode, which will only make matters worse.

 

MENTAL-HEALTH FACTOR

 

I see the causes of crime being more than economically based. We ought to be more serious about mental health, as right-thinking individuals do not rape and murder babies, senior citizens and the disabled.

It is essential that we collectively address the causative factors. If the Government fails to do so, the blame ought to be pinned on them, as the faÁade will not be a fallacy but will blossom into fruition. And then they would've failed to protect the very nation they were sworn to protect. If we, as citizens, fail to report crime and continue to aid and abet criminal activities, we ought to take our fair share of the blame, too.

However, let us quit the blame game. Let us focus on the issue at hand and work together to tackle crime. The country should not be left solely to the discretion of politicians. We, as citizens, must play our part in developing our Jamaica by reducing crime.

Yanique Mendez

Student

University of the West Indies, Mona