Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Put crime in context

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Lance Neita's Sunday column was headlined 'Is the media playing into the hands of the criminals?' My answer to that question is a re-sounding 'yes'. Shootings and killings seem to be glorified on the evening news on both TV stations, and daily newspapers on their front and editorial pages, scaring citizens and making them afraid to leave their houses. If you were to follow these media reports, you would believe that the entire Jamaica is under siege. But what are the facts?

In The Sunday Gleaner, columnist Orville Taylor stated among other things that "more gangsters are killing more of their fellow gangsters, that a greater number of them are being found and arrested".

A smaller number of Jamaicans are being directly affected by crime.

Most of the victims and perpetrators are known to each other, and this includes shootings and domestic crimes.

Aggravated assaults including domestic violence decreased from 595 to 440 a drop of 155 cases below last year's total.

Burglaries dropped from 1,765 to 1,251 a drop of 514 below last year's total.

Robberies fell from 1,890 last year to 1,387 a fall of 583 below last year's total.

Looking at the above numbers, it would appear that things are not nearly as bad as they are made out to be by the media.

There are three main scenarios in which the killings are taking place:

n gangsters killing each other;

n lottery scammers killing each other because of disputes over sharing of spoils; and domestic violence - a man figures that he is being 'dissed' by his woman and stupidly tries to end her life.

Killings are largely confined to these three areas, and as such, the vast majority of Jamaicans are not affected and should not be afraid to move about in their country.

Royh Wilson