Fri | Feb 21, 2020

The nation has failed the police – Chang

Published:Monday | December 16, 2019 | 12:20 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang.
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang.

WESTERN BUREAU:

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang says solving the country’s crime problem will not be sustainable until as a nation, we can fix the continuous neglect of the security forces which has existed since independence.

“The reality is, as a country, we neglected the security forces all of post-Independence and we only call on them when we have a problem,” said Chang, while addressing last Wednesday’s press launch for the $1.5-billion Dream 36 housing development in Montego Bay.

“That has been the history of the police and we have to correct all of that before we can really look towards sustainable success in resolving crime; but in addition to that, we have allowed our inner-city communities to deteriorate,” added Chang.

He went on to bemoan the lack of resources to the police, including not enough cars, which hampers their ability to respond effectively to criminal activities.

“So when you have a crime, you call the police and you expect them to have cars, you never buy them any. You expect them to stay in the police station, but the police station is leaking and they can’t stay in there. You expect them to communicate, but you destroy their radio system,” said Chang, in noting that the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which is responsible for maintaining public safety, was allowed to be so degraded that it just could not do its job.

Chang also spoke out against the failure of the State to allow illegal squatter communities to develop, noting that they have become a haven for rampant criminality.

Ticking time bomb

“Almost all the residential communities in Montego Bay for the working people came out of squatting, and squatting is an illegal activity. It generates an illegal ecosystem, which generates illegal activities, which eventually leads to killings and murders,” stated Chang.

“Individuals in those communities find their own way to make money and they do it very creatively, making plenty of money. Besides building their house, they buy cars and they retain their base and they buy guns,” continued Chang.

“A young man out of a depressed community who goes to a school that has been ignored and they never got a decent education, they feel neglected, they feel hurt, they are angry and they get power by pulling the trigger in a gun,” added Chang.