THE EDITOR, Sir:
The murder of recently retired DSP Denzil Boyd has brought into sharp focus the magnitude of Jamaica's crime problems. The killers struck on a Sunday morning, at a time when most persons would be expected to be at home and awake.
After the act, they sped away, exhibiting no fear of witnesses.
To what do they owe this confidence? Is it that they are aware that less than 40 per cent of serious crimes are solved? Or, of that 40 per cent, only a third are successfully prosecuted. Those criminals would be aware that the law says that they must get bail; and that in the exceptional circumstance where bail is refused or withdrawn, they will be able to threaten and cajole witnesses from the shelter of their prison cells.
They know that the witnesses will be afraid to come forward. If they do come forward, there won't be enough jurors to try the case. If jurors come, they will be mainly from only one sector of society, the most vulnerable and most susceptible to undue influences.
VICTIMS IN THE COLD
They would be aware that, in many cases, relatives of victims have to relocate, for fear of further harm from associates of these killers. They know that the victim protection programme is underfunded and is disruptive of the victims' lives. That there is no victim compensation programme, and only in the limited case of sexual offences is there any counselling or assistance given to victims of crime.
In any event, the criminals know they enjoy a society, where the 'informer-fi-dead' mentality is of great persuasion. That artistes who openly support criminality are lauded and glorified.
Those persons that killed Denzil Boyd did so in what can only be described as a crime-friendly Jamaica. For the sake of our children, I hope we can work to make the environment more hostile for criminals.