Letters to the Editor

Curious delay in declaring ZOSOs

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The spate of murders and criminality in Farm, Clarendon, over the past week is an unpleasant reminder of how lawlessness has taken over, with no seeming end in sight.

Since the zones of special operations (ZOSO) law was enacted in July this year, there has been no activity in response to our burgeoning crime situation. None of the easily identifiable, crime-plagued communities have yet been declared a zone.

What accounts for this lengthy delay in implementing a ZOSO? We do not have the luxury of time to sit and wait endlessly for the Government to act.

Jamaica is burning while the Government panders to controversy about whether it is sufficiently prepared to implement the first ZOSO, and where to implement it. How many more will die before we break the back of rampant criminality?

Adequate provisions should be made to facilitate multiple zones simultaneously. There would be no significant impact if only two zones can be implemented at any given time. We also expect to see the questionable Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members barred from operational activities as recommended by the David Simmons-led commission of enquiry. They should have no part in the ZOSOs.

We have very little (if any) trust left in the JCF for obvious reasons. Too many cops are corrupt, incompetent and are criminals themselves. Although we would like to assist the police in fighting crime, we are fearful of the deadly repercussions.

We could be targeted by the criminals who we gave information against because of the breach of trust by the corrupt cops. I am not saying that we should not cooperate with the police. This is our country and we must play our part in making it safer. However, these times are too serious to not be extremely cautious when reporting to the police.

It is the threatening conduct of some cops why we are oftentimes reluctant to supply information. Until there is a complete transformation and professionalisation of the JCF, which should see many in the hierarchy being extricated to allow for fresh talent to make a difference, then we will only continue to waste our time.

The criminals are winning this battle with almost 980 people killed since the start of the year. This is indicative of our inability to enforce and maintain law and order. Until we get serious in arresting criminality, there will be grave implications not only for our economy, but for our lives.

Many of us did not like certain provisions in the ZOSO law, but we compromised and supported it because we know that something needed to be done.

The Government should end this curious delay and give an urgent response to this crime situation and declare a ZOSO now. There are too many of us who are at risk of criminality.

Dujon Russell





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