Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Cleaner town can lead to less crime

Published:Friday | December 4, 2020 | 12:10 AM


Mandeville once had the reputation of being the cleanest town in Jamaica, but that was when the mayorship of Manchester’s parish capital rested with Cecil C. Charlton.

Last week, there was a complaint and discussion on radio regarding a pile-up of garbage in areas of Kingston and St Andrew and, indeed, other places across the island. The National Solid Waste Authority’s response was fair, in that this untenable situation is a result of the recent extreme weather conditions that impacted the island.

Yet, successive governments, it seems, have not been able to resolve maintaining and keeping public areas clean; perhaps with the exception of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who placed major emphasis on parks, gardens and their overall cleanliness and beautification. Countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada have not only sustainably maintained public cleanliness, but also have seen its positive effects on crime and violence.

Empirically, it has been shown that a sustained clean environment inversely relates to the level of crime and violence in a society – that is, clean environment, low crime.

Mandeville is being challenged in meeting the timetable for garbage collection while, at the same time, crime and violence is on the rise.