THE EDITOR, Sir:
Mr Ian Boyne, in his Sunday Gleaner article of January 8, 2017, suggested two main solutions to our crime problem:
1. Curfews in crime hotspots.
2. More frequent and sporadic roadblocks (my words).
Now, both suggestions have already been tried and found wanting. In the case of the first, which includes infringing on the civil liberties of law-abiding citizens, this has been tried before and failed and, therefore, there is no basis for it being successful at this or any time in the future. We can't afford to have the criminals operating several steps ahead of us all the time.
I have a problem too with a side issue (as I call it), of his and Mr Andrew Holness' recommendations to separate criminals from communities they have captured. My question in this regard is, where will these criminals go? To another community to continue to wreak havoc, or to start their own community? Both options are silly. It is unfortunate that while Mr Boyne criticises the "elitist" ideas, he does not have a suggestion that is really workable. Criminals must be prepared to change their ways or be sentenced to hard labour in prison until they are visibly reformed. And the hard labour I am talking about involves cracking stones by the truckload with hammers to repair our Portland, St Mary, and St Thomas roads. We have frequent rainfall in these areas, so the prisoners could be preparing material to fix the problems as they arise.
Whoever becomes commissioner of police must concentrate on, among other things, the continued weeding out of bad cops. In fact, a way must be found to have all current and prospective cops do polygraph tests. We could start with those seeking promotion. It simply cannot be business as usual - if we mean business.
Another suggestion that I would make is that the security minister not obfuscate the duties of the commissioner by asking him/her to present crime-solving strategies. That's not the commissioner's role. There is need for an in-depth look at the job descriptions of the prime minister, the minister of national security, the army chief and the commissioner of police, insofar as security is concerned, so that there is no role confusion or micromanaging. The Jamaican people need clarity.