The Editor, Sir:
Once again, violence in Montego Bay flared up with the murder of five persons in the Salt Spring community. It was also reported there were more than 12 gunmen who are responsible for this savage rampage.
Based on the reports, it is almost impossible for such a crime to be done without someone witnessing these murders and, therefore, we must all ask: what if no one volunteers to come forward and give the police the necessary information to bring the perpetrators to justice? If there is no eyewitness, should we just file this case in file 13 and move on to the next?
For the police to be effective in fighting crime, the citizens of Jamaica must be willing and comfortable to be informers. However, we all know that the word informer is a 'bad' word in Jamaica, so where do we go from here? If the police are convinced that the public must be part of fighting crime, then effort must be made to change the behaviour of John Public to accept that crime reporting is good.
Marketing campaign needed
I am therefore recommending that the Government, together with the help of the private sector, hires an innovative marketing company to launch a major marketing campaign to change this informer mindset. This initiative will not work without the visibility of the Opposition as part of this effort.
While I recognise the impact of the Crime Stop effort, and agree that there are linkages between this proposal and the Crime Stop programme, care must taken to recognise the difference between the two.
I am, etc.,