Letters to the Editor

No ID, no pass

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The mere fact that having an identification (ID) card is becoming an issue in the new zones of special operations (ZOSO) programme reveals our lack of preparation for its start.

I am now hearing that it has held up people trying to get urgent back-to-school supplies from the community.

Now, I support any meaningful and well-prepared action to rid our country of its criminal elements, but I do not support an inept Government and security forces that still fail to recognise the rights of citizens. I have constantly maintained that they would not.

The assumption that all our poor and marginalised people must have at least a national ID card — if they did, indeed, assume that in the first place — reinforces my argument that our security forces and Government do not know what exists on the ground — although they take great pains to tell the nation through the media what they are doing.

Everything seems hurriedly put together.

Even the press conference seemed to have been trumped up (no pun intended), and I am thinking that the first zone was initiated by a particular murder that occurred in Kingston during that same week, which could mean that pressure from a certain section of the community, along with its international connections, spurred the creation of this first zone.

Additionally, I am also gravely concerned to hear that police and soldiers are carrying body cams in these zones, and wonder about the chain of custody for the videos and pictures that come from these devices.

I hope someone smarter than the Government and the security forces manages to convince them that technologies like drones can be deployed on a much wider and strategic scale than these zones and will be able to gather information on criminal activities both day and night.

I hope the next election brings better and more intelligent people to the fore in our politics than the current leadership, down to the last man and woman, so that we can address the issues.

Mark Trought





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