Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Letter of the Day | Emergency powers key to crime crackdown

Published:Saturday | January 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM


St James is under siege by criminals who seem prepared to not go down without a fight in response to the State's crackdown on their illicit activities. However, the security forces should not be deterred and ought to ramp up their efforts to restore order across the parish. All Jamaicans should support this effort.

The recent discovery of 119 high-powered rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition exposes criminal organisations that were (and are) prepared to escalate killings across Montego Bay in furtherance of their nefarious aims. The State must continue to broaden and deepen this crackdown (within our laws and constitution) to conclusively put an end to the evil being visited upon the good people of that parish.

The state of emergency will give our security forces the space to bring to justice the criminals behind the latest wave of killings.

Many will complain that the state of emergency will do great damage to our tourist industry. Though l agree that there could be a downtick in arrivals, such blowback can be mitigated through proper messaging across travel markets via social media and other channels.

Citizens must understand that it is far better to take the bold actions necessary to bring the latest spasms of bloodletting to an end than to dance around this crime wave hoping that it will abate on its own.

I believe our citizens' patience gas tank on this matter is on empty. The time for tough talk is over. Only the use of force can reinstall peace.

I continue to visit Montego Bay regularly, and I am impressed with the ongoing development of regions such as Rose Hall, Fair View (especially its modern commercial zones) and other on-the-rise areas. The Freeport zone, especially, is beginning to finally look like Vision 2030, and we all should be proud of what has already been accomplished.

These are just a few of the bright spots representative examples of the promise of Montego Bay especially. As such, we cannot allow the ignoble criminal element to derail this progress and to rob our children of the promise of a more meaningful and richer future.

Let us all put partisanship aside as our security services confront naked evil in the coming days and weeks. With the backing of the people, they will prevail!