Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Tackle extortion racket head-on

Published:Tuesday | November 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The recent headlines about extortion and related murders in the Spanish Town bus park do not reflect a new problem, but it remains frightening and appalling. What is even more depressing is the fact that it is now viewed by most Jamaicans as normal.

It is very sad, tragic and extremely disgraceful that this particular crime continues to happen unabated with the full knowledge of the politicians in the JLPNP, the police, the people and the media! Why have we collectively accepted this crime of extortion in the Spanish Town bus park, in Spanish Town in general, and the entire Jamaica, for that matter?

If our politicians and rogue cops were not complicit in this sin/crime, and if our governments (successive administrations)

genuinely wanted to bring this to an end, they could have and still can. But they only claim that they want to curb crime while refusing to rein in the gunmen (who are, it seems, their partners in crime).

 

Well-known criminals

 

Most Jamaicans already know that the criminal/extortion gangs are well-known affiliates of the JLP and the PNP. Why do we accept this as a normal way of life?

The extortionists are known by the politicians, the police, and the victims. But the victims do not trust the police and politicians.

Will the few good politicians and the mostly good police personnel rise up and do something about the crime of extortion once and for all?

Let us see if Prime Minister Holness is serious about fighting crime. Let's see if the next zone of special operations (ZOSO) will be declared around the Spanish Town bus park and its environs to restore civility, normality and decency to the business community and public space and fix this shameful criminal scourge once and for all. Imagine the signal this would send to extortionists in other areas of the island?

If PM Holness fails to do so, I may be forced to wonder if his words regarding zero tolerance on crime were hollow platitudes and that ZOSO is a public-relations exercise.

PETER TOWNSEND

President

National Democratic Movement

ndmjamaica@yahoo.com