Jamaica’s Crime Problem Starts With Jamaican Citizens

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We have entered a new year, a year in which Jamaica will celebrate 60 years of Independence but it has already been marred by several gruesome murders. Three incidents of double murders have already been recorded in Westmoreland, including the deaths of brothers, cousins and two women. More recently, the country has been shocked by the heinous killing of nine-year-old Gabriel King in Saint James. What is worse, is that it seems the murder rate will only continue its upward trend as the Government and security forces are fresh out of ideas on taming the crime beast that has gripped the nation for far too long.

The public seems fed up with the extremely high crime rate and more particularly, the uncontrollable murder rate. The general response, however, has been to complain about the failures of the Government and security forces to effectively reduce Jamaica’s crime. Make no mistake about it, I am in full support of holding the Government and our elected officials accountable, as they must play their part by creating the legislative framework to prosecute criminals and to deter would-be offenders from committing crimes. The Government should also provide the police force with all the tools that they need to fight crimes. There is, however, a problem that is of particular concern, and it is one of the main reasons crime in this nation has reached the unprecedented level that it is at today. The average Jamaican citizen does not think they have a part to play in fighting crime.

The men and women of the police force, as mere mortals, are neither omnipresent nor omniscient. They will not know the details of a crime that was committed without the assistance of witnesses. The police’s investigative capacity is severely hindered when nobody comes forward with information that can help them to find and put away the criminals who are committing these wicked acts that have law-abiding Jamaicans living in fear.

Do not turn a blind eye | Letters  Jamaica Gleaner

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