‘Everyone in Jamaica should be an informer’
Justice minister urges Jamaicans to report criminal activities
JUSTICE MINISTER Delroy Chuck has taken a fresh swipe at Jamaica’s prevailing ‘informer fi dead’ culture, declaring that all citizens who speak out against all acts of criminality in their communities should be praised for their bravery in doing so.
“If you want a peaceful Jamaica, you have to play a part. We need to expose the wrongdoings of all kinds, and the ‘informer’ is a hero,” Chuck said resolutely while addressing yesterday’s launch of the Ministry of Justice’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Services Public Education Campaign at the Manning’s School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.
The campaign, which will continue in Westmoreland over the weekend, is geared towards promotion of non-violent conflict resolution strategies, following several recent reports of violent confrontations in schools. These include the March 21 stabbing and subsequent death of William Knibb Memorial High School student Khamal Hall in Trelawny, and the March 30 stabbing and injuring of a female student of Petersfield High School in Petersfield, Westmoreland.
During his address to the students of the Manning’s School at yesterday’s launch, Chuck pointed out that persons who report on criminals must exercise both courage and discretion in doing so.
“Everyone in Jamaica should be an informer, and do not be afraid to be an informer. You must inform, and you must have the courage and be brave ... unless criminals know that their wrongdoings will be exposed, they will continue to do it,” said Chuck.
“I am not asking you to come forward and tell the gangster ‘mi tell the police you have a gun’. That would be stupid, and you must use your intelligence,” Chuck added. “Bravery does not mean you expose yourself, but it means you have the audacity to call Crime Stop or go to a justice of the peace, because if the culprit knows you are the one who informed, they might retaliate.”
Chuck’s stance mirrors a call made in 2017 by the then Commissioner of Police George Quallo for the anti-informer culture to be eradicated. That call was repeated in 2018 by Floyd Green, at that time the minister of state in charge of youth, when he urged young people to play a role in altering and going against the anti-informer culture.
The pervasive culture of ‘informer fi dead’ has resulted over the years in criminals being free to carry out their illicit activities despite constant pleas from the security forces for citizens to share what information they may have on those actions. The culture of silence prevails because of fear of retaliation or lack of trust that the whistle-blowers’ identities will be kept confidential.
But Chuck warned that if the anti-informer culture remains unchallenged, criminals will eventually overwhelm Jamaica’s law-abiding citizens.
“We cannot be a good society if we are all lambs and sheep. The lions will eat us, and the lions are those gangsters and gunmen,” said Chuck.
“The Government cannot have a policeman at every elbow. It cannot be that you want a ZOSO (zone of special operations) and police and soldiers sitting with you forever, as it is just not possible; the citizens have to help.”