By Garth A. Rattray
Branding is "the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer's mind ...". On the one hand, we have put a great deal of money and effort into capitalising on and promoting our beautiful country, wonderful hotels, tropical weather, warm people, music and our world-beating elite athletes. But, on the other hand, criminality insidiously and inexorably undermines and erodes gains made from our efforts.
While Stephenie McPherson, Novlene Williams-Mills, Patricia Hall, Francine Simpson, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nesta Carter, Nickel Ashmeade and Usain Bolt were making their country proud and lifting Jamaica's name up high on day one of the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, there were 22 reported major crimes (four murders, two shootings, one rape, five robberies, nine break-ins, one larceny).
On day two, while Hansle Parchment, Dwight Thomas, Andrew Riley, Javon Francis, Omar Johnson, Javere Bell, Kerron Stewart, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Schillonnie Calvert, Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade, Usain Bolt, Novlene Williams-Mills, Patricia Hall and Stephenie McPherson competed, there were 11 major crimes reported (one murder, one shooting, one rape, three robberies and five break-ins).
On day three, while Ansert Whyte, Leford Green, Isa Phillips, Kaliese Spencer, Nickiesha Wilson, Ristananna Tracey, Danielle Dowie, Hansle Parchment, Andrew Riley, Schillonnie Calvert, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Kerron Stewart, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Javon Francis, Omar Johnson, Javere Bell, Andrew Riley, Novlene Williams-Mills and Stephenie McPherson competed, 28 major crimes were reported (five murders, seven shootings, four rapes, five robberies, six break-ins and one larceny).
On day four of the championships, while Kimberly Williams, Nickiesha Wilson, Ristananna Tracey, Isa Phillips, Leford Green and Ansert Whyte competed, 20 major crimes were reported (one murder, three shootings, one rape, seven robberies, seven break-ins, one larceny).
On day five, while Damar Forbes competed for Jamaica, 25 major crimes were reported (seven murders, six shootings, one rape, six robberies, four break-ins, one larceny).
On day six, while O'Dayne Richards, Raymond Brown, Patricia Hall, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Anneisha McLaughlin, Kimberly Williams and Nickiesha Wilson competed, 16 major crimes were reported (two murders, two shootings, three rapes, three robberies, four break-ins, two larcenies).
On day seven, while Andrea Bliss, Danielle Williams, Shermaine Williams, Warren Weir, Nickel Ashmeade, Jason Livermore, Usain Bolt, Damar Forbes and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competed, 32 major crimes were reported (four murders, two shootings, four rapes, 15 robberies, five break-ins and two larcenies).
On day eight, while Andrea Bliss, Shermaine Williams, Danielle Williams, Usain Bolt, Nickel Ashmeade and Warren Weir lifted our heads up high, 22 major crimes were reported (two murders, three shootings, four rapes, eight robberies, four break-ins, one larceny).
On day nine, while Kerron Stewart, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Schillonnie Calvert, Carrie Russell, Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade made history for Jamaica by closing these prestigious international games and making our little country the star of the show, 17 major crimes were reported (three murders, two shootings, six robberies, six break-ins).
While the Jamaican team to the championships was racking up nine medals (six gold, two silver and one bronze), 193 major crimes were reported (29 murders, 28 shootings, 19 rapes, 58 robberies, 50 break-ins and 9 larcenies). While Brand Jamaica was being given a phenomenal boost by our athletes, it was also significantly damaged by our criminals.
Several of our athletes share similar socio-economic backgrounds with the individuals who are committing major crimes daily. The statistics of their respective performances reiterate our urgent need to commit to social intervention in order to see to the holistic and healthy - mental, physical and social - development of each and every Jamaican child. Those who are left behind only end up biting us in 'it', and Brand Jamaica suffers every time.
Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.