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Put crime fighting at centre stage

Published:Tuesday | March 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM


ONCE AGAIN the country is witnessing the reappearance of the scourge of all scourges - crime, which for the past six months was thought to have gone into remission.

With its re-emergence, crime has claimed the lives of 140-200 Jamaicans. Regrettably, and noticeably, 47 of these deaths have resulted from bullets generated from high-powered weapons used by both the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The questions that must now be asked are: What are the causes of the re-emergence? Has the society gone mad? What remedies can the government put in place to combat this wave of violence that is determined to destroy our democracy?

Previously, I had mentioned the introduction of an amnesty programme, similar to the one that was implemented by former United States President Bill Clinton during his term in office. So far, this programme has reduced the crime rate in the United States of America, but I presume that because of its political implications my suggestion was ignored by the former Jamaica Labour Party government. So I am now pleading to the current administration that in order to prevent or to reduce this wave of senseless killings, it needs to examine the amnesty programme implemented by former President Bill Clinton.

With respect to the excessive force being used by the security forces, tough and stringent policies must be put in place for retraining, psychological evaluation, and disciplinary actions or total dismissal. In my opinion, this is a crisis that requires the support of both political parties, and if not presently dealt with, will cause severe damage to our country both domestically and internationally. It is time for politics to take a back seat, and the protection and security of our people take centre stage.

Michael Thompson