Crime-fighting lessons from NY
THE EDITOR, Sir:
OVER THE last 20 years, the crime figures in Jamaica have risen steadily, with last year being the worst in recorded history.
In the early 1990s, New York City, under the leadership of Mayor David Dinkins, was in the same predi-cament. In 1990, New York City with a population of nearly nine million people recorded 2,282 murders. People cowered in fear, businesses left the city in droves, there was a massive downturn in tourism and unemployment was high.
After only one term, Dinkins was booted out of office and Rudy Giuliani became mayor. He implemented a tough, no-nonsense approach to crime fighting. He understood the correlation between crime and economic growth. He recognised that the only way for the city to rebound economically was to control crime.
After weeding out the undesirables, he wholeheartedly supported the police personnel who knew without a shadow of a doubt that Giuliani had their back. Within six months, crime in New York City was down by a third. Within a year, it was down by a half. Businesses that left returned and new businesses sprang up. Unemployment began a downward trend.
Last year, in New York City with a population of nearly nine million people, only 471 murders were recorded. Last year, in Jamaica with a population of nearly three million people, 1,680 murders were recorded. Such a disparity is quite glaring.
Like New York City, crime in Jamaica can be controlled. It only takes the right leadership.
I am, etc.,
Brooklyn, New York