Thu | Jun 24, 2021

Motivate police, set crime targets

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:24 AM


I was driving along Mona Road one morning. The driver in front suddenly started to drive increasingly slower. As he came to a crawl, I spotted the police checkpoint up the road. About 50m from the checkpoint, the driver in front stopped, put on his indicator, and made a U-turn.

The police stood there oblivious. When I drove up, one of the policemen stepped out and told me to pull over. I asked him if they hadn’t seen the car making a U-turn. Him: “Which car?”

These police are just going through the motions. They are not motivated. And no wonder the commissioner has not outlined any specific targets for each division or the country as a whole; for example, 999 murders or fewer for 2019. So how can you work towards something when you don’t even know what you are working towards?

The commissioner must set clear goals for each police division. An effective way to motivate police to reach these goals could be to develop a programme to recognise and reward individual police, stations, divisions, departments and regions for reaching specified targets in crime reduction. The measure of success is critical.

In private industry, executives are held accountable for profit. In police work, they should be held accountable for crime increases and rewarded for crime reduction and reaching their goals. Corporate Jamaica would be more than willing to sponsor these rewards in cash or kind.


St Andrew