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Is effective crime fighting a PNP priority?

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

JAMAICA IS on the verge of becoming a crisis country due to numerous incidents of crime, which remains Jamaica's most crippling issue of national concern.

In light of the aforementioned, the present Portia Simpson Miller-led, People's National Party (PNP) government must be given credit for having identified crime as a national priority and for having indicating their commitment to the establishment of crime-fighting initiatives. However, it seems to me that the PNP has either neglected this commitment, misinterpreted their role in crime fighting or they lack the capacity to respond effectively to the increasing crime levels.

We must no longer ignore the realities that in less than 100 days since the PNP took office crime has escalated to alarming proportions. Similarly, we must no longer ignore the statistics which give evidence to the PNP's historic inability to treat with crime. Why then has the PNP not seriously examined and in so doing take the necessary strides to dismantle gangs and garrisons affiliated to its political party? Why did the PNP not take the magnificent opportunity extended to them in 2009 by the then Jamaica Labour Party administration to extend the state of emergency to St Catherine, which would have certainly and significantly eroded the Clansman and any other existing or promising gangs in that geographic location?

Mmisguided proposal

Why then is the PNP disregarding the existing crime-fighting strategy that was successfully outlined and used by the former national security minister of the JLP administration? Is the PNP ignorant of the fact that a delay in crime fighting in order to design any new crime management plan will contribute to an increase in crime?

Additionally and importantly, we must begin to question and object to the PNP's misguided proposal to reintroduce new squads as part of their crime-fighting initiatives. I am forced to agree with the sentiments put forward by the Opposition leader that the reintroduction of new squads "will only lead to an increase in human-rights abuse and drive a wedge (the wedge that became noticeably smaller when the JLP was charged with crime-fighting responsibilities) between the citizens and law-enforcement officers". Is the PNP not mindful that when an impediment exists in the relationship between citizens and law-enforcement officers crime escalates? Therefore, my position and concern is that the PNP has appeared far too lax in their crime-fighting efforts over the years, and that it is high time the Government take the necessary steps and choose to act in the best interest of the Jamaican people and demonstrate real 'people power' and proclaimed 'love for the people'.

ConcerNed About Crime