Letters to the Editor

Rewarding sabotage?

Friday, September 08, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The blanket of crime is slowly suffocating this nation. The Government is fighting back and has introduced the zones of special operations, which has the support of every well-thinking Jamaican.

Mount Salem, St James, was declared as the first special zone last week and Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay assured the country at that time that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) was as ready as it could ever be to participate in this operation.

By the start of this week the nation was hearing that the full complement of the JCF did not turn up for duty in Mount Salem. Further, we were told that the data provided by the JCF, and which was used to help determine Mt Salem's eligibility for selection, is inaccurate.

For me, the fact that the majority of the police did not turn up for this most critical effort, an effort in which the nation is holding out much hope, is even more alarming than the fact that they got the numbers wrong. Those JCF members who did not turn up have essentially sabotaged the operation.

But it's been one week since this incident and, to date, no official statement has been issued on the matter. The nation is waiting, because if we are serious about this special zones initiative, this cannot be nine-days' talk. A clear message must be sent to the “boycotters” that this behaviour will not be tolerated and must never happen again.

I don't care how many internal challenges JCF members are facing at this time, they are employed to do a job; this is a major national effort to break the back of crime, and the majority of them simply decide to not show up. Totally unacceptable!

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen and stop holding the nation to ransom! And what message is this sending to the criminals?

Equally disturbing is what is coming out of the Ministry of National Security. The Mt Salem operation is one week old and we are still waiting to hear why some members of the JCF did not turn up for duty, yet Minister of National Security Robert “Bobby” Montague proceeds to issue a statement yesterday demanding that the JCF promote staff who qualify for promotion to stem the slide in morale. Wrong timing, Minister Montague! Just last week members of the JCF embarrassed your Government and sabotaged the special zones effort, and while the nation waits to hear what are consequences they will suffer, you are demanding promotion among their ranks. I can only conclude that the issue of promotion takes precedence over the disciplinary matter, and the police are essentially being rewarded for dissent and sabotage. I can interpret it no other way.

It is either that the JCF, as a body, is with us or it is with the criminals. And based on what transpired in Mount Salem last Thursday, I have formed my own conclusion.

So, whither the JCF? Who will bell the cat?






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