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Letter of the Day | The new normal is not normal

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Peter Champagnie in a letter to the Gleaner of May 21, 2018, stated, inter alia, " ... the Government's crime-fighting initiative in the way of zones of special operations (ZOSOs) and states of emergency has proven to be effective ..."

I agree with him on certain conditions:

1. That by effective he means that there are fewer crimes in the ZOSOs and

2. That the citizens within these four ZOSOs feel more comfortable for now.

But I hasten to ask, what about criminal activities in many other non-ZOSOEs areas where in some cases, crime tun up? By police statistics, the criminal activities across the country are continuing on an upward trajectory such that by extrapolation, this year should be more bloody than last year, which was more bloody than the year before.

One of the greatest problems that I have with our crime-fighting strategy is that as a people, we in the once-quiet areas of the country are being forced to learn how to be at peace in the midst of these stormy developments about us. The other thing that increased crime is doing to us as a people is that our movements are being 'curfewed'.

So Mr Champagnie, et al, who would want to create a perception of success in the implementation of the Government's crime-fighting plans, should not seek to pressure us into accepting what now exists as the new normal. For this new norm is not good enough for us as a people. What I think we end up doing is, in a sense, forcing the entire country to become one huge ghetto.


Values and attitudes programme


Some time ago, then Prime Minister PJ Patterson's idea of a values-and-attitudes campaign was successfully shot down by sections of the society. The result is what we now have groping in the dark for solutions on the one hand while on the other hand trying to convince ourselves that what we have is the best we can entertain at this time. It isn't. For while all of this is going on, our penchant for huge expensive and flashy projects by the nation's leaders is in no way diminished. I am not hearing enough holistic, passionate talk or resolutions to our present predicament.

We urgently need to get realistic about the present situation and realise that no amount of police and soldiers can truly curb the crime situation as much as getting to the heart of the nation will through a sustained campaign similar to the two-is-better-than-too-many campaign of yesteryear a VALUES-AND-ATTITUDES campaign.

Lerroy Brown