Letters to the Editor

Respect for law and order lacking

Friday, April 20, 2018

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Dear Editor,

There is a general sense of resistance against law and order in Jamaica and the resistance makes the job of the police officers extremely difficult. It is obvious that criminals are taking the fight to the State and added to the mix are taxi and bus drivers, vendors, and mentally unstable individuals.

There are numerous videos circulating on social media of police officers in heated confrontation with members of the public. What is shocking is that the onlookers in the videos cheer on and boost the people being accosted to fight and resist the officers trying to arrest them. It becomes obvious that there is no respect for law and order when law breakers are encouraged and aided to get away from being brought to book by the security forces.

It has got so bad that even children in uniform attempt to assault officers who seek to have them clear bus parks and street corners where they loiter long after their school has ended. It should alarm us that the resistance to the rule of law is starting with our children.

Precious man hours are spent each day in the adult and children court for offences of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, indecent language, et al because there is no respect for law and order.

How often do we see a police officer arresting someone and our comment is, “Officer, give him a chance,” oblivious to the reason for the arrest in the first place.

On another note, all of us can attest to beholding a mentally unstable individual in the public domain with a knife, stone, broken bottle, or a machete. This is now highlighted by an on-duty police officer being brutally injured by a man thought to be mentally ill in Christiana, Manchester. The question is asked once more, whose responsibility is it to see to the mentally ill in the public space? Is it their family, the Ministry of Health, or the police?

We generally are reactive procrastinators, so until the law's teeth becomes rubber our children become uncontrollable, and we are rocked with more assaults and murders by mentally ill persons, then we will see no change.

Hezekan Bolton


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