If 'super gangs' can unite, why can't politicians?

Editorial

If 'super gangs' can unite, why can't politicians?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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Regrettably, the strident statements issued by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government and the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) in the wake of the killing of two cops and wounding of two others last Friday are as hollow as they come.

If Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Dr Peter Phillips believe that their empty words and crocodile tears are fooling anybody then they are more delusional and beyond redemption than we previously thought.

They are only deceiving themselves and their supporters if they think that the Jamaican people are reassured by something which they do every time there is a major criminal incident rush to condemn in the usually loquacious manner.

The PM, for his part, instinctively reached for two more states of public emergency (SOE) in Central Kingston and Western Kingston as if it were some new and magical crime-fighting programme that would excite the cowering populace.

Any cursory analysis of the crime situation, as it relates to murder, could not but conclude that the politicians are bankrupt of ideas or have completely given up the fight against the murderers in the face of 600 homicides already this year.

Mr Holness tells us that gangs operating in the Central and Western Kingston police divisions are moving beyond traditional geographical boundaries and are no longer confining themselves to community locations, operations, and affiliations.

This, he said, presents the possibility of the development of “super gangs” that could create a platform for the “insemination of more nefarious and foreign criminal activity”. We have no reason to doubt the prime minister, who appears to be supported by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson.

“[W]e are seeing a much more coordinated attempt by criminal enterprises across Kingston and St Andrew to coordinate their activities and create a much more unified response to how they make their illegal gains from these commercial areas,” said General Anderson.

It is not the first time that we are seeing gunmen unite to advance their own agenda. Who can forget the chilling assembly of outlaws who converged on Western Kingston in 2010 to defend Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher “Dudus” Coke from arrest?

The question therefore is: If the gunmen can unite to terrorise law-abiding Jamaican citizens, why can't our politicians unite and lead the country to take the fight to them?

It seems that our politicians are so wrapped up, tied up, tangled up with criminals that they dare not stand up to them.

Jamaicans, led by the private sector, have been calling on the Government and the Opposition to set their political differences aside and come together to make a joint assault on crime. These calls have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Since the politicians clearly don't have the stomach for it, perhaps the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica could take it upon itself to try to mobilise Jamaicans, maybe through a series of islandwide town halls, to formulate ideas that could lead to crime-fighting policies and programmes.

No political party should be funded unless it commits in writing and publicly to implementing the ideas coming from Jamaicans both locally and abroad.

Detective Corporal Dane Biggs and Constable Decardo Hylton must not die in vain.


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