Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Letter of the Day | No, Mr Boyne

Published:Tuesday | January 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM

No, Mr Boyne


Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry has reportedly said that a proposal by journalist Ian Boyne for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to curtail the rights of Jamaicans to address crime should be rejected for its "unlawfulness".

I agree wholeheartedly with Harrison Henry. I am also outraged and alarmed that Boyne, a senior Gleaner columnist and commentator, would offer such unacceptable suggestions. Infringing on the constitutional rights of Jamaican citizens would have no meaningful or constructive effect on reducing crime in this country. It would only open the door to police abuse and unwarranted police killings.

Boyne, in his column in The Sunday Gleaner, referred to human rights advocates, defence lawyers, and members of the media as elites "who harshly criticise the Government for not doing something now when nothing they are proposing can have any practical effect on crime now".

He also stated: "I am calling for locking down certain communities, locking away certain known crime perpetrators; going into homes without search warrants; and stopping vehicles on the road."

Boyne urged Holness to resist efforts to undermine plans to address the crime problem this year.




Mr Boyne clearly does not understand the country's crime problems. Turning Jamaica into a police state is not the answer. In fact, it would only make things much worse.

Mr Boyne should instead be calling on the Government to allocate more resources to the Jamaica Constabulary Force to allow it to more effectively tackle crime. The intelligence arm of the force needs to be expanded. We need more undercover cops in communities where crime is high. This is how you dismantle gangs. Then, you place persons suspected of committing crimes before the courts and let the justice system deal with them the proper way. We need to think with our brains and not let our emotions lead us down the wrong path.


Montego Bay