DEHRING, Bunting and Golding Limited was formed by three enterprising young men in 1992 as an investment advisory firm, later expanding into other financial services and listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. When the partners wanted to pursue other interests, they sold the successful firm to ScotiaBank for enough not to have to work again.
Messrs Peter Bunting and Mark Golding decided to serve their country in the political arena and have come to be recognised among the 'brightest and the best' - the phrase used to describe the youngsters of the John F Kennedy presidency -- in the post-Simpson-Miller-Peter Phillips PNP generation.
They are now gainfully involved in a new "investment firm" which in time will come to be known as 'Bunting, Golding and Ellington'. The team combines the political will of Mr Bunting, the minister of national security; the legal skills of Mr Golding, the minister of justice, and the quiet charismatic leadership of Mr Owen Ellington, the commissioner of police.
This enterprising team understands and takes as its foundation the fact that the resources spent on the reduction of crime to tolerable levels is an investment in economic development. They know that the Jamaican economy can never realise its potential for sustained economic growth which has eluded the country since the 1960s.
They have brought to the management of crime a watershed change from seeing money spent on the security forces as a necessary social expenditure and as a social good, to an awareness that social peace and political stability will only be achieved when the country conceives of this expenditure as investment. Money spent on crime reduction is investment which yields benefits in all areas, notably in education, health and poverty alleviation.
There can be no economic growth without increased investment. This is one of the eternal truths bequeathed to us by Sir W Arthur Lewis, the Caribbean's Nobel Laureate in Economics. Jamaica needs to increase its investment in crime reduction so that it can have a multiplier effect that can boost economic growth and reduce persistent poverty, the ultimate defence against crime and violence.
In Messrs Bunting, Golding and Ellington, Jamaica has a team that is taking a scientific approach to crime grounded on
They now need more resources to enable them to have manpower and equipment in sufficient quantity and quality to succeed. The finance minister and the international community have to find ways to provide more resources in cash, information and kind. The team has pragmatic strategy and the articulation skills to mobilise some of these resources, and cooperation from the international community and the Jamaican Diaspora, as demonstrated recently with their persuasive presentations in New York and Washington DC, thanks to the support of the Jamaica National Building Society.
They urgently need improvements in complementary areas which are weak, such as prosecution and cooperation from the public. These are improvements that require more than just spending more money.
The new "investment" team of Bunting, Golding and Ellington, if given adequate resources, could free economic growth from the shackles of crime and violence while improving the quality of life.