Thu | Dec 3, 2020

ZOSO is a PR stunt

Published:Monday | September 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The cry for zones of special operations (ZOSOs) has become louder from so many corners of society to tackle the spike in crime. Any opposition or criticism of the zones is described as either partisan or not supporting the Government's efforts at curbing murders.

But I, for one, can't wholeheartedly support what is little more than a PR stunt. You don't need to legislate to invest in communities the way you ought to. The ZOSO legislation is a high-school copy-and-paste job from the Constabulary Force Act and the anti-gang legislation. If it were a term paper, it would be given an F for plagiarism.

The social-intervention component is the only newish element, but it begs the question of whether a community should be soaked in the blood of citizens before the authorities decide to set up committees to 'intervene' and bring in social investments.

Should killings be in the double digits before we get an improvement in the investigative ability of the police? Should a community be vicious and murderous before the security forces get basic human-rights training to interact with citizens effectively?

If this Government and Opposition want to change the crime situation, they would be wise to do away with the colonial-style constabulary force, improve the working conditions of officers, and properly invest in communities that need help as a proactive measure.

I cannot pretend amid the mass delusion that this latest PR show is a radical shift in how we tackle crime when it obviously is not.