'JCF does not grasp crime situation' - January's Silver Pen winner says police not apprehending murderers
The Gleaner's Silver Pen Award winner for the month of January 2016, Cashley Brown, has expressed the belief that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) does not have a proper grasp on the country's crime situation, especially the murder-related cases.
"The police force somehow doesn't seem to grasp the kind of negative impact that crime is having on this country. Until we get that right, no matter what else we talk about, how we want the country to develop, if we don't get our crime situation manageable, we are not going to see the light of day as far as 21st-century development is concerned," Brown said.
Brown won the Silver Pen award for his letter titled 'Come clean on crime data, ACP Powell'. In the letter, Brown raised questions relating to a report that Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell made recently. It stated that in 2015, 700 persons were arrested for murder compared to the 1,200 persons who were murdered in the same year.
"I felt that the data was suspect, and I was hoping that having looked at it, the gentleman would have reviewed the situation and come and shed more light on it. Unfortunately, I didn't see that, so I am taking it that that's his official position," Brown stated.
He said that the police, traditionally, were not apprehending the murderers. "If when you arrest people and you see a significant dip in the number (murder statistics), you can say to yourself, 'OK, the murders are confined to this small group.' But that is what the police are not doing, and that is where the problem lies, in the fact that they are not apprehending the people," he said.
Brown stressed the point that the JCF, like many other entities in Jamaica, was producing below capacity and he wants things to improve. He wants the JCF to develop its resources, conduct proper and thorough investigations, apprehend the culprits, and he wants the courts to move quicker to convict these persons.