Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Are politicians really in charge of criminals?

Published:Thursday | August 1, 2019 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As the debate over how to stop crime in Jamaica goes on, the perennial talk about politicians and their link to criminals has once again resurfaced.

But, with all that we have seen since the ’70s up until now, is that link as great as some are making it out to be? I think not. When are we going to realise that the days when politicians were in charge of criminals are over? I get incensed when I constantly hear this argument about the link between politicians and criminals as if it’s the major driver of murders. It is by no means the major driver of our perennial crime problem.

And although many of our politicians are less than impressive, I can’t believe they would be so callous and wicked that they would just sit back and watch Jamaicans being killed without doing anything to stop it. I refuse to believe they are that evil.

Politicians have long lost that grip over criminals since the advent of the drugs-for-guns trade, backed up by extortion and now lotto scamming. Politicians in the past admittedly have indeed nurtured and relied on criminals and controlled them, but that is no longer so. Criminals have got other means, more lucrative ones and thereby cut that reliance on funding from politicians. That has indeed given politicians no control over them.

To behave as if politicians can turn crime by cutting their perceived link with murderers is tantamount to saying the devil can turn off good in God. Rubbish. The constant arguing of that point, though, shows just how few ideas are left on how to fight crime. It shows an alarming level of laziness of thinking. It’s a backward view that doesn’t hold true anymore.

Fabian Lewis