Wed | Oct 20, 2021

Citizens’ help critical for the police to fight crime

Published:Saturday | September 18, 2021 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Despite what is recognised as the largest investment in the national security architecture in this country over the past five years by any Jamaican government for over a generation, we continue to experience an alarming rate of homicide.

The Government has been spending funds on upgrading the human, physical, technical and investigative capacity of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and although incremental by some degree, the returns are evident.

No society is immune to crime and violence. At the same time, a society that is disciplined and caring will have markedly lower levels of crime and violence. The total disregard for law and order cannot continue unabated, and again the onus is on citizens, who know what is happening, to provide information to the police.

We have witnessed over the past two weeks of COVID-19 lockdown several heinous murders and shooting incidents. The police have done an admirable job during these challenging times and will continue to employ effective, professional and smart policing tactics to combat this murder wave.

News of 18 murders over the past weekend, including four people from one family in Clarendon further highlighted what has been said countless times by this ministry, that it will take a complete re-engineering of our social and civil practices to bring about meaningful change.

With that said, police statistics indicate that all serious crimes, including rape, robbery and break-ins, are trending downward, and we endeavour to continue this trend, But it is evidently clear that the challenge remains with murder and shooting, which threatens to scuttle the efforts in the fight against crime and violence.

Over the past few years, the police have arrested and charged several violence producers, placed them before the courts and have them prosecuted; however, many still roam the country with impunity and these men, and in some cases women and youth, are known by those who care for them, and who provide shelter and food for them.

It is therefore these very people who we intend to focus on getting our message to. If a change is going to come, it is you, the people, who have intimate knowledge about these alleged killers that must step up and share whatever you know with law enforcement in order for us turn the corner on crime.

The Government is doing its part by providing necessary investment to have the police operating at optimum efficiency, but it is the input from the citizenry by way of providing quality information leading to arrests and convictions that will bring all of us success to finally eradicate the high murder rate that is sure to incapacitate the entire nation.

PAUL CLARKE

Consultant to the Minister of

National Security

Ministry of National Security