Disorder in the city

Letters to the Editor

Disorder in the city

Friday, February 28, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I write to express my deep concern about the more than doubling of the murder rate in central Kingston and evidence of disorder in the city.
That the homicide rate in central Kingston moved from 13 in 2018 to 29 in 2019 is serious cause for concern.

Notwithstanding the demanding nature of their job, how seriously are the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) dealing with this situation in central Kingston? Are the strategies being employed to fight crime in the division really working? Are there emerging criminal patterns that citizens should be aware of? What is the real situation with the dismantling of the gangs? Which stakeholders are the police partnering with and sharing data and strategies for buy-in?

They are the ones sworn to protect, serve and reassure the people of Jamaica. Consequently, they must lead the charge in mobilising the requisite support of the stakeholders. When homicides, and crime in general, are reduced to a tolerable level in central Kingston this will lead to a better environment for the residents, business community, tourists, and those who seek leisure in the city.

Too many people have lost their sacred right to life. It cannot be business as usual.

The police and the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation are just two of the many organisations with indispensable roles in maintaining order in the city. Why do I have to gingerly navigate the sidewalk to avoid stepping on pirated DVDs for sale spread out like a king-size sheet next to a no-vending sign? Why are handcarts allowed to litter the sidewalk at West Parade? Why is sewage still flowing out of St William Grant Park onto the road for months? Why can't we fix the problem of perennial stench of urine in downtown parade caused by the men who urinate against the wall between the public bathroom and the park? Who is leading the charge to summon our collective imagination to restore pride, decency and encourage personal responsibility?

Who will bring order out of the to-hell-with-you-mek-man-eat-a-food transportation chaos in Kingston city? Why can't there be better garbage disposal, consistent collection and prosecution of those who flout the anti-litter law?

Like Kwinana in Australia, why can't we just trap the garbage at the mouth of the drains from Rae Town to Greenwich Farm before it gets into the already dangerously polluted Kingston Harbour?

The cesspool of disorder in the city needs urgent attention. We can no longer afford to let the “little things” slip.

We at least need leaders marked by a willingness to serve with courage, as well as ordinary, responsible citizens who value the collective good above their narrow self-interests and personal comfort. Oh, for a city of order where life is sacred.

Rev Omar J Morrison
East Street

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