THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent murders in St James are further proof that Mr Bunting's sole reliance on divine intervention is putting our lives in serious jeopardy.
His announcement of a decrease in murders from five per day to three per day provided comfort only to himself and his heavily guarded colleagues. Meanwhile, DNA and anti-gang legislation that is critical to effective crime-fighting has been placed on the back burner while the Government focuses all its attention on the IMF bills. I suppose they can't whistle and ride at the same time, or maybe it's because we don't live in a villa in Portland.
Until then, our people are murdered like animals because our leaders lack the will or care to tame the vicious crime monster. The criminals must have rolled on the ground laughing at the national security minister's proposed ban of music with violent lyrics as a crime-fighting measure. Since then, they quivered in their boots and murdered 20 more.
Mr Bunting needs to wake up and realise the type of hardened criminals he is dealing with in Jamaica.
For crime to come down in Jamaica, a few things need to happen:
1. The police force needs to be upgraded to an efficient, knowledgeable, professional body. Cops need to be given technical support, namely a functional 119 system, marked and unmarked vehicles to get around, and closed-circuit televisions and cell-phone-tracking capabilities.
2. The director of public prosecutions needs to be given an established deadline to bring cases to court and enough support staff to do same. The current excuses offered are unacceptable to the Jamaican taxpayer.
3. The justice system needs an overhaul. An efficient night court system can help to clear the backlog of cases, in addition to the hiring of new professionals and para-professionals to help with case mediation. A strict three-strikes rule must be enacted to ensure that repeat offenders do not further burden the justice system and become a persistent menace to society.
4. An efficient and professional penal system is a big deterrent to crime. Criminals should not feel like they are on vacation to get fat and rosy in our prisons. On the other hand, our prisons should not be a hotbed for human rights violations. In order for the justice system to work, proper training, staffing, and oversight of the country's prisons are critical.
5. The above points all have opportunities for employment. The Ministry of National Security can work with the Ministry of Youth and Culture to identify school leavers who can be trained as paralegals, administrative staff, 119 call-centre personnel, and police personnel, to operationalise the effort.
While reducing crime in any society is not easy, it cannot be rocket science. Nobody is saying that it's so easy even a caveman can do it, but it can't be so hard that not even a financial wizard can do it either.