Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Law enforcement playing catch-up with criminals

Published:Saturday | April 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM


A given flaw in any system of governance is that many correctable and preventable problems exist and/or evolve over time. The ongoing legislative process is meant to address this unavoidable truth.

Unfortunately, a particular tradition pervades our political systems where policy and enforcement follow after crisis rather than on proactive anticipation of change. An interesting example of this phenomenon is exemplified by the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA).

Several weeks ago, there was a published account of a supposed gun-making machine found in Manchester. The FLA led the charge to arrest this technology before matters would get further out of hand. The sad truth is that our legislative agenda, enforcement and ability to identify the underlying issues render this effort of the FLA and other arms of our government redundant.




Firearms can be manufactured at just about any machine shop in Jamaica. No special gun-making machine is required. To make matters more interesting, the advent of 3D printing, and the hosting of CAD files online, means ANYONE with a desire can make a functioning firearm from the convenience of their living room, provided a laptop, an Internet connection and a 3D printer are available.

In a real context, Jamaican public/political/administrative and legislative bodies are still locked in the 19th century, where law enforcement still records data in handwritten notebooks, and judges take witness testimony by hand at trials.

It is well beyond time that measures are implemented to change the culture of nonchalance and impotence of our governance systems, so that we are collectively ahead of the game.