The Soloist, Contibutor
When I told all my friends that I would not be a part of the symbolic convergence of the populace to protest rape of children, they thought I was a sourpuss. Well, just about a month later, I am still mad as hell. Last week, the body of yet another little girl was found and it is reported that she was raped, murdered and burnt to hide the evidence.
Now, tell me people, what has the Black Friday march achieved? Are we any closer to solutions now than then? When is one or both of our leaders going to take charge and lead from the front with vision and inspiration? They make me sick.
Daily we continue to hear about heinous acts of crime, the crime rate escalates at just a little slower rate than the economy declines, and all these two unimaginative political leaders can do is go about on a tour of the island to talk and cuss each other. I wonder if they realise that the election is gone and it's time to really work, work, work; not simply say you are working.
I think the time has come to put aside jungle justice and spend our creative energies on more results-oriented pursuits. Why not get together at the community level and try this little experiment: Call up all the idle young men, put them in teams of four for four shifts to patrol every square inch of the community day and especially nights. Put an upstanding member of the community with each group. Groups need only to be large enough to protect each other.
On patrol, they should look for anything out of the ordinary, strange cars, strange people, unusual sounds and strange children who seem to be lost. Take pictures if necessary, send texts to friends and family if you don't trust your memory. Meet at the end of each shift and compare notes. Designate someone to tell the police when you find something worth reporting.
Do not stop. Send a message to the criminals that you are taking back your communities. Outsmart, outstay and outlast the criminals. Women can play their part by keeping a keen eye on their neighbours, that's right, I am calling for a nosy-neighbour campaign. Observe everything, who moved in, what they do, who visits. Do you get goose bumps when you see a particular person? Does the sixth sense tell you something is just not right? Pay attention. Look out for all children and treat everyone you don't know as a potential suspect until you prove otherwise.
And finally, get rid of the 'informer fi dead' attitude. You or your child could be the next victim. Find a way to tell the police when you see a crime. Go to the station in another parish if necessary. Send an email from work or write them a letter and drop it off. Take pictures, print them and leave them anonymously at a station. We are Jamaicans. We are creative, we know how to do things and get away with it. Look how many criminals get away with the murder and rape of our children! We know how to 'bandoloo' and beat systems. I am begging you to use that creativity to rid our country of these criminals.