Weeding out criminality
THE EDITOR, Sir:
While weeding out the criminal elements in the inner-city areas is necessary, the breeding ground or root cause of the criminals or criminality must be tackled.
We are being told that the security forces will be given additional powers to go into troubled communities to weed out the criminals. However, the criminals may well be anticipating the communities to be targeted and, therefore, may already be making plans to migrate to other areas.
It is my opinion that an amnesty of some sort should be given to these individuals (gangs) to turn themselves in and take in their weapons, and they will be given a chance to enter into a plea agreement as it relates to the sentence given. It should also be mandatory that at the end of the sentence served, the individual enter into a rehabilitation programme for a period.
Further, counsellors and social workers, whose main objective are to hold seminars, sessions and discussions with parents and guardians on the principles of proper parenting, should visit these communities. It is my opinion that, sadly, proper parenting is lacking, not only in the inner-city communities, but also in our society in general. Other social interventions should also be explored.
These approaches, in my opinion, could go a long way in reducing crime.
The government may not have all the resources to do the above, but they could seek the assistance of the private sector, who will also benefit from a crime-reduced Jamaica. The government could implement special centres islandwide, where law-abiding citizens can go and make contributions towards these crime-prevention efforts.
Going into areas, pulling away citizens and locking them away is the not answer. All that it will eventually create is more hatred on the part of citizens towards the security forces, and the end result is more criminals and crime.
Knee-jerk reaction to suppress crime is not the answer.
Waltham Park Road