Mon | Mar 8, 2021

Letter of the Day | How did crime spiral out of control?

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2021 | 12:10 AM


It is difficult to hear the continuing reports of murders in Jamaica. But I, like many Jamaicans, am no longer shocked at the nature or number of murders happening. I see strategies employed by criminals who fire-bomb homes and then kill the occupants as they try to escape the flames and note that this is a military strategy, and as usual, “a so it go”. Why worry if there is nothing I can do about it, and to make matters worse, the so-called security is not available to ordinary citizens. Such is the current state of affairs in beautiful Jamaica.

To list the difficulties faced in the island would be just another repetition of the now normal murderous news items, and since people are mostly occupied with finding food and maintaining protection from the criminals in the society, I ask the question of how we got there; it was not overnight. Perhaps if we can find when the murdering began, by whom and how often they were taking place, we can reverse address the activities that led to it, which have remained or have changed to meet the current realities and devise strategies to implement to reverse the trends of murder. I suggest we start with the brutality that is required to put a fellow human being in chains, removing them from all family and community they knew. It hurts me every time I hear from them that Africans are wicked and evil, especially after centuries of torture from those who are accusing us of savagery and who did it, and what they did to us?

Jamaicans should be focused on the following issues: economic opportunity, food, housing, education, and finally, the lack of equity in all the above that result in crime, which we cannot curb, reduce or eliminate until the items listed are addressed. Any one of these could be the most important, but we don ‘t have the luxury of time, so we have to address them all with equal discipline and focus. In the meantime, the “busy work” of the government and “majoring in the minor” is not helping.

Politicians out of their Depth

The politicians, based on their own utterances, are out of their depth, both in terms of understanding the current socio-economic problems in Jamaica, and managing our national and natural resources, and the physical environment. Crime will remain exactly where it is, and get worse. We the people of Jamaica have been returned to servitude as in slavery, and we have accepted the politicians as the new colonials, and don’t even know it.

We need qualified, competent and ethical people in government. It is time to insist on minimum qualifications for politicians, the days of primary school education are not sufficient to manage a country with so much talent. We need a government of the people, for the people and by the people.