Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Political parties losing battle on crime

Published:Sunday | May 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Crawford
A family of four was burnt to death after their home was firebombed by several armed men at Barnes Avenue, off Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. The Stinger gang was linked to this crime. - FILE
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Richard 'Dickie' Crawford, Contributor

WITH THE greatest amount of respect in the world, and for what is intended, the frequent statements of condemnation of violent crimes by the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) have become a waste of time. They have become delusionary. Once upon a time, in a different Jamaica, this might have had some effect.

At present, the PNP is running the risk of writing the current pages of history as follows: "While the people were being murdered wantonly, the opposition party's response to the crisis was to issue a number of news releases on the carnage."

Peter Bunting's participation in this joint committee on crime, or whatever it is, is also, obviously a waste of time.

Ladies and gentlemen of the opposition party, despite some of your current noble efforts to address the issues of murder, violence, corruption and the association of politics with all of this, questions are being asked about your sincerity to really deal with crime and some associated issues in the society, and these are not frivolous questions from unconcerned people.

You know what? One of the interesting things right now is the disappointment and shame of what seems to be a majority of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters, who seem to have given up on the hard-core leaders and fanatics of their party, while the PNP supporters are asking for this party to wake up, look at the crisis, and once more try to do something to stop it.

The latest development seems to be: anyone who stands up for an end to crime and peace in the communities is killed. The recent Spanish Town and Montego Bay murders are clear on this - how many more before we don't know, but what we know is that crime and murder are triumphing over peace and sanity.

I submit that every gunman and criminal in Jamaica is fully occupied and working to expand the business as the Parliament, the courts, the police, and others who have the power and authority to stop it, seem to be on an expense-paid holiday, so, "crime rules right now, right here".

"None of us is afraid of no one and no one can stop wi because even when dem know wi, dem can't touch wi and even if dem try, wi will walk free next day, and di lawyer dem will confuse dem further and the case mus drop eventually."

Do we have any idea why criminals are on the rampage right now, and why they apparently feel untouchable?

Do we realise, therefore, that the Parliament and political parties are losing civil society in this battle?

The international medium, Al Jazeera, says Robert 'Kentucky Kid' Hill's tapes show the policemen beating him and his wife, but the human-rights people are not calling on the prime minister or minister of security to have them apprehended for investigation, they are merely blaming the corrupt cops who are in the force. Do we believe that this video will stop crime or clean out the police?

What about the police who have been threatened because of the raid in Beverley Hills, St Andrew?

What about the increase in crime since the police have been given the commissioner they wanted? Why do the people welcome the commissioner's call to work together but are not taking him up on the offer?

I could go on forever, but a word to the wise must be sufficient.

The view on the street: the Opposition is inadvertently letting the country slide into possible chaos and letting the Government off the hook. People are saying that more precise measures are needed and if not, why not?.

An emergency parliamentary debate on the country's crime and corruption debacle with time-tabled decisions to be implemented over the next 90 days. A vote of no confidence to be debated. A call for resignations. In the event of no cooperation, a full course of action from the Opposition for saving the country.

I believe these are all possible and necessary under the West-minster system.