Play your part! Pastor urges St Mary residents to help fight crime
JEFFREY TOWN, St Mary:
In the last three months, the typically tranquil district of Jeffrey Town, St Mary, has been the location of two fatal shootings and according to the Social Development Commission (SDC) representative for the area, the only way to stop violence spiralling out of control is for local residents to take a stand against the criminals.
The SDC's acting manager for St Mary, Desmond Sinclair, was born and raised in the parish and believes that jealousy and laziness are the root causes of the crime wave that has so far led to a 23 per cent increase in murders.
Speaking earlier this week from Jeffrey Town, Sinclair, who has served as a minister for over a decade, told Family and Religion: "The Bible (Jeremiah 17:9) indicates that the heart of men has grown desperately wicked, and instead of men having love for their brothers, you realise they have developed a hatred for each other.
"They don't look out for each other anymore, and as a result of that, you'll find that people have developed a greed and selfishness among themselves, which has escalated into this sort of violence. There's also the idea that people are not satisfied with what they have, so the whole idea of grudge and red eye comes into play.
"Once people can't be satisfied, they are going to find means and ways to get that which is not theirs. And when people start to encroach on others and what they have, you're going to find that after a while, others are going to get frustrated and fed up, and they exact what they think is justice, based on what people have either done to or taken away from them."
Sinclair, who is a pastor for the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas, believes that if the upward trend in murders and violent crimes is to be reversed in the parish, the citizens of St Mary must work in conjunction with local police.
He explained: "I think it was Isaac who said to his son, Esau, 'When you are frustrated, you will break the bond from around your neck (Genesis 27:40). One of the things with us St Mary folks is that crime is happening right around us and people are aware of some of these perpetrators. It's just a matter of us saying to the law: 'We know that John Brown or Mary Jane is involved.'
"We really need to get to the place where we start to speak out because a lot of the violence we see taking place is domestic. [We should] get good community people to talk, come out, stand up, and show that they really want their communities to be the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.
"If we are going to stay in our homes and cieled houses (Haggai 1:4) and say:'Police alone must do it,' we will forever have crime. Good people must come out and play their part so we can have an integrated development process."