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LETTER OF THE DAY - Can the PNP really curb crime?

Published:Sunday | March 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica is on the verge of becoming a crisis country because of its crime concerns. The Simpson Miller administration must be given credit for having identified crime as a national priority and for having indicated its commitment to the establishment of crime-fighting initiatives.

However, it seems that the People's National Party (PNP) has either neglected this commitment, misinterpreted its role in crime fighting or lacks the required capacity to respond effectively to crime. Since the PNP took office, crime has escalated to alarming levels. Similarly, we must no longer ignore the statistics which give evidence to the PNP's historic ability to treat with crime. Indisputably, the PNP has a historically poor record in crime fighting.

Why has the PNP not seriously examined and, in so doing, take the necessary strides to dismantle gangs and garrisons attached to and or affiliated to its political party? Why then did the PNP not take the magnificent opportunity extended to it in 2010 by the then Jamaica Labour Party administration to extend the state of emergency to St Catherine, which would have certainly eroded the Clansman and other Spanish Town gangs?

Objectionable new squad suggestion

We must begin to question and respond with objection to the PNP's misguided proposal to reintroduce new squads as part of its 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 between the citizens and law enforcement officers".

The PNP has appeared far too lax in its crime-fighting efforts over the years and it is high time the PNP take the necessary steps and choose to act in the best interest of the Jamaican people.