What initiative would you implement to solve crime?
Scean Barnswell, mayor of May Pen, chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council
I would make it mandatory for every Jamaican to have a national identification card (ID). Attached to the name and faces on the ID cards, would be the fingerprints and a DNA sample of all the persons, which will be stored in a database. Every crime scene leaves behind evidence that cannot be picked up with the naked eyes, so after carefully processing the scene, whatever evidence is found can be matched against those in the database. That would definitely help to solve many unsolved crimes and also reduce the backlog of cases in the courts. This method would also serve as a deterrent to potential criminals, as the likelihood of them getting caught to face the penalties for their actions is 100 per cent.
Ingrid Parchment, C-CAM Executive Director
I think removing zinc fence and overgrown bush in empty lots, as well as abandoned structures and establishing neighbourhood watch groups, would work. Provide financial support for the youth committee, crime prevention committee, so they can engage with stakeholders better. The youth committee would engage all stakeholders involved with youth issues and they would implement programmes in schools and with unattached youth such as sports, drama, as well as workshops looking at positive options. There needs to be job creation to include training and marketing as well as improved social support. I think working together is going to be critical and supporting viable alternatives.
Winston Maragh, councillor Rocky Point division; minority leader, Clarendon Parish Council
If we try to create more employment, that would give a lot of idle persons work to do, and with them being gainfully employed, that will minimise the likelihood of them engaging in illicit activities to fulfil their basic needs. The higher the unemployment, the higher the crime rate will be. I also think getting more young people involved in skills training could empower them to be entrepreneurs. Getting our young people trained and certified will make them globally employable, so again, there will be fewer persons turning to a life of crime.