Stand with me and save Jamaica

The Point Is...

Lancelot Murray

Sunday, February 16, 2014    

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WHY is Jamaica in such a destitute position socially and economically? Why? Jamaica is such a beautiful country.

The weather conditions are perfect year round. The island is blessed with natural beauty and wonders found nowhere else in the world. Jamaica is a virtual paradise.

As a country, we are economically viable. Tourists flock to the island to participate in many of our world-renowned annual festivals, which attract world-class performers. Others choose Jamaica for their vacation, simply to enjoy our blue skies and white sand beaches. Vacationers bring foreign currency to the island and spend lavishly on the goods and services we offer. We can attract more of them.

There are other numerous avenues available from which businesses could be developed, all with the intention of improving the country's economic base. Additionally, foreign investment could be sought and channelled to the island. We can be more appealing to foreign big business, seeking to situate a branch of their internationally recognised companies here in Jamaica. We can become the Mecca of foreign investment in this region of the world.

Instead, Jamaica is plagued with extremely high unemployment due to a depressed business environment. Corruption abounds on a multitude of levels. Successive governments have failed to stem the economic and social slide of the country. The youth of our nation are frustrated as they see no future for themselves.

Many face insufficiencies of food and other basic human needs that sustain life. To escape their real or perceived insufficiencies and hopelessness, many flock to North American and European embassies with the hope of departing their country of birth.

As a result, we are robbed of the talent needed to steer Jamaica away from the reefs of calamity.

To whom do we turn? Who will step out of the shadows to lead Jamaica and its people away from the slippery slopes of destruction in which we find ourselves? Where do we start, and start we must. If we, the elders of this generation, fail in our attempt to correct the social and economic ills of our country, the next generation may face insurmountable challenges to save the nation. Which of us is strong enough, determined enough, patriotic enough and persistent enough to rescue our country from the grips of social and economic decay? Who is willing to step into the light? Take the first step.

The social and economic issues of our country must be clinically analysed and action taken with surgical precision to bring about the desired results to benefit the entire country and people. I am convinced there are a few great ones in our midst who will selflessly offer themselves to this mammoth undertaking.

I believe there is a solvable common denominator on which our emphasis should be placed. I key in on the word "our" as it will take the patronage and participation of each Jamaican to realise the goal. That solvable factor, that key answer to the country's woes that encumbers us from reaching our true economic and social potential, is crime.

Our country's uncontrollable crime rate continues to discourage major foreign investment to the island. As a result, unemployment remains high without much scope for improvement. Numerous government initiatives have been introduced to reduce crime on the island with marginal success achieved.

I believe there is a workable solution to reducing crime. I believe Jamaica can rise from the unwanted social and economic position in which we now find ourselves. I believe we can restore social and economic well-being to this country. I believe we can solve the crime problem.

We have the will, we have the desire, and yes, we have the drive to resolve those perplexing issues which suppress our economic and social advancement. All the ingredients are there. We now need to combine them to achieve the desired result.

In previous crime reduction efforts, much of the emphasis and the onus to resolve the problem was put on the shoulders of our constabulary force. As an organisation, they accepted and embraced the responsibility of single-handedly bringing about a significant reduction in crime. Based on a number of their initiatives, some crime reduction success was realised. Unfortunately, not too long thereafter, crime levels again began to soar.

It is clear that for crime to be reduced on a continuous basis it would require the participation of the public. Each of us has a role to play in the reduction of crime, whether or not we were personally victimised. We all should be of the view that any crime against one of us is a crime against us all.

The task of law and order is the responsibility of every citizen. This can be accomplished by providing law authorities with the information they need, for them to adequately perform their jobs.

There would have to be a way for the constabulary to easily solicit requests for information from the public, on a national scale. The method for so doing will have to be prompt to facilitate timely requests within moments of the occurrence of a crime such as a bank robbery.

To accomplish this, I suggest the establishment of a National Electronic Billboard Network System.

The Electronic Billboard Network System will synchronise a number of electronically linked billboards. The billboards should have simultaneous and independent information display capability.

The Billboard Network System will benefit the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the following ways:

* Timely displays of requests for leads on bank robbery cases

* Dissemination of life-saving natural disaster information

* Prompt display of photograph images of missing children

* Road closure and traffic rerouting info

* 24-hour per day /365-day per year display capability

It will also benefit the following government agencies.

* The Child Development Agency - Ministry of Health

* Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)

* Parish council offices

The entire contents of this presentation are predicated on the fact that there are still far more righteous Jamaicans living in Jamaica than there are people of criminal and evil intent. I call on the righteous people of Jamaica to take a stance against crime whenever and wherever it occurs. Report crime to Crime Stop.

With Crime Stop one can make an anonymous report. No names or telephone numbers are required.

If we do nothing to arrest crime now, then we can expect some form of it to be directed at us or a loved one at some point in the future.

I stand as one of the first to sign on to the move to help Jamaica achieve its true social and economic potential. Won't you join me? Won't you stand as a responsible and patriotic Jamaican?





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