Letter of the day: Real change needed for St Thomas
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent spate of criminality being experienced in St. Thomas is evidence of a long standing problem there. Since 2002 St. Thomas saw a 63 per cent rise in major crimes with at least 45 murders still not solved.
In recent weeks the western end of the parish has seen a re-emergence of criminality in the form of petty robberies and car theft.
The community of Yallahs has been thrown into mourning once again after the brutal killing of two police officers.
It is easy for one to conclude that in the last 15 years the ineffective policing and lack of political will to dismantle and apprehended known gangs in the parish has led to the emergence of criminality. We have seen many times where criminals who commit major crimes in other parishes find their way to St. Thomas.
While I congratulate the lawmen in the apprehension of escapees and in recent times the killers of a woman constable in Spanish Town while she was traveling home on a bus, it can be said that enough has not been done to rid the parish of criminals.
We the residents of St. Thomas condemn all forms of criminality and we are calling on the Commissioner of police Dr. Carl Williams and the Minister of National Security Peter Bunting to conduct a thorough review of the leadership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in the parish and to transfer non-performers and provide the necessary expertise and equipment needed for the policemen and women to perform their duties effectively.
We are also calling for a partnership between the Jamaica Defence Force and the JCF under the "Get the Guns" campaign aimed at getting the guns out of our parish.
We call on residents on a whole to take a concerted stand against all forms of criminality in St. Thomas and across Jamaica. It is high time the people of Jamaica take a stand against these monsters who have been cutting short the lives of our love ones.
I humbly ask our Prime Minister Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller to let her voice be heard in the condemnation of killings and criminality plaguing our country. We look forward to the day when Jamaica can truly be the place to live, work, do business and raise families.
M. Maurice Clarke