Fri | Oct 7, 2022

Undercover policing won’t work here

Published:Wednesday | July 10, 2019 | 12:23 AM


In the Tuesday Talk section in The Gleaner of July 9, 2019, residents of a community were reportedly bemoaning the lack of undercover policing by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, suggesting that crime would be considerably reduced.

While I can certainly understand their frustration, I would like to bring to your attention the following:

In a place like Jamaica where everybody knows everybody else, the undercover method of policing might not be as effective as it is in North America and Europe where there is a greater degree of anonymity.

Also, Jamaican civilians will distrust anyone they don’t know who just shows up in their community. That creates an obstacle for using cops from other areas to do undercover work.

Another thing to consider: Going undercover operations require very good acting. The cop’s life literally depends on it. If they are discovered to be cops by the people they’re investigating, we can easily guess what would happen to them.

Great actors all have one thing in common: an unusually high intelligence. And while I hate to have to type this, let’s be honest here: Jamaican cops are quite often not the brightest bulbs in the box or the sharpest knives in the kitchen drawer.