Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Hello Mi Neighbour | Here's my perspective on crime in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A policeman cordons off the crime scene on Tavistock Terrace off Millsborough Avenue in Kingston, last month, where two persons were found dead.

Hello mi neighbour! We are all obliged to perform at acts of neighbourliness throughout our life - making a positive difference in the life of another! It may be a handshake, a smile, a glass of water, a dollar or a prayer. These acts legitimise our stay in this world. American activist for the rights of children, Marian Wright Edelman, says it this way: service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.

My neighbourly duty today is to offer a perspective on our crime situation. Perpetrators of crime and violence (C&V) started out like the rest of us: born, drank breast milk, wore diapers, learned to walk, talk and read, and had childhood ambitions of becoming mechanics, musicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers etc.

They, also, grew up with fear of pain and death. Many of them attended Sunday/Sabbath School, recited memory verses and sang on children's choirs and got baptised etc. So what went wrong and when? Yours to ponder and resolve.




No one kills grown trees by merely deleafing them. For desired outcome therefore, resources are better expended on the very "root of the matter". From time immemorial successive governments, committed to the eradication of crime and violence, have used incarceration and capital punishment to meet their objective. And we see the results!

Kill all criminals and crime marches still. Violent crimes reflect the state of the heart and can only be remedied by a "state-of-the-art" treatment - Divine intervention, accessible through all-hands-on-deck prayer and love. And I can hear the cynics scoffing but be patient with them, they'll see the light.

For decades, Jamaicans have been staging marches and prayer vigils aimed at controlling this so-called C&V monster. And even with the intensification of these activities, winning the war for a peaceful society seems dubious in the minds of many law abiding citizens who are calling for action. What action?

Do politicians have the answer? Can a new police commissioner with increased staff and equipment change the face of criminality? Curfews, military might, education, music, sports, skills training, mediation, and other social treatments are excellent but never adequate to restore peace to a society in which we cannot police every street, lane, alley, home and institution. With our brightest minds, burning the midnight oil, in crafting crime fighting strategies it is still a wait and see - see what? But what are our options?

We must come clean and admit to our role in crime

To get to the root of crime and violence [in Jamaica] we must come clean and admit to our contribution to this culture. Improper parenting, poor role models, and systemic corruption have been our downfall. Major political parties often trivialise the crisis with the blame game! Adding insult to injury, supporters unashamedly applaud leaders who mindlessly blame the other party for the high crime wave! Shame! Who considers the additional pain of the grief stricken? Which political party anywhere in the world can remove crime from evil hearts?

Next week we take a closer look on what it really takes to save Ja from crime and violence. In the meanwhile please help someone from list today as part of your reason for being today.




- Rema and Karlene, St Andrew, for donation

- Adolphy, for offering mattress and TV to neighbour

- Edna, St James, for donating crochet thread to neighbour for business

- Neighbour, St Andrew, for offering a TV to Miss Clarke, St Mary




- Carmen - asking neighbours for a second-hand refrigerator for a little business

- Michelle - dining table and a dresser

- Neighbour - asking for sizes 37 and 38 black school shoes for boys

- Deon, Portland - asking for a stove with an oven - bake for a living

- Tamara - asking neighbours for a television

- Yasmin, St Thomas - needs a dining table and a stove

- Neighbour - single mother asking for a television and refrigerator

- To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; Paypal/credit card: email: Or contact e-mail