Sun | Sep 25, 2022

Letter of the Day | Gov’t, not citizens, bears burden of crippling crime

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM


We were promised increased production. Instead, we got increased violence. Protection rackets and extortion are the industries of entities whose business is violence. These are the thugs united in generating scale economies in violence with the output of a political strategy.

Therefore, the rebranded outdated curfews, as zones of special operations (ZOSOs), are a prelude to blaming terrified citizens who know if they report a don, they will be dead the moment the ZOSO is lifted.

From my experience growing up in Spanish Town, the police and soldiers tend to rely on the residents to tell them where the dons are, but it is a game both innocent law-enforcement officers and citizens are dragged into. If the Government was serious about crime, we would have had a pack of well-trained dogs sniffing out concealed ammunition.

Do the communities have control over the guns and ammunition coming into the country? Can a resident stop a bullet? Sure, the community plays a part, but the bulk of the responsibility is on the leadership to stop the guns and ammunition coming into the country. Disband the garrisons and the gangs that control and terrorise law-abiding citizens.

"It struck me that in a statement from the police force, they were able to identify, I believe, 12 criminal gangs operating in the Mount Salem area and are only now moving to deal with them. With all the preambles and public announcements, anyone in this ZOSO that is on the radar of the authorities has long moved out. Hopefully, the community sensitisation will have some effect until the soldiers and police move out and the gangsters move back in," said Christopher Binns

The construct of the political economy in Jamaica is not to increase production, but rather to gain economies of scale in violence. We've got these two economic activities hard-wired into social behaviour, production and violence, but what we've got is economies of scale only in violence. The lack of growth in the Jamaican economy is directly related to the trade-off in scale economies in violence and so communities are organised not to engage in production but rather to reap the benefits of scale economies in violence.