Letters to the Editor

Use culture and sports to help fight crime

Friday, August 18, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I was not at all surprised to read in the Jamaica Observer that an economic study showed that the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), with proper funding, has the potential to transform crime-ridden inner cities. I've been saying this for years and I hope the study done by The University of the West Indies economist Dr Andre Haughton on JCDC's contribution to the performing arts and economic flows during 2011 to 2017 will be taken seriously.

This study is important, and hopefully it won't just be another report filed in the bottom of someone's filing cabinet. Like sports, cultural programmes could be used more effectively.

According to the study, the approximately $300 million spent by the JCDC on the arts generated a combined multiplier effect of over $1 billion.

Sports is another area which could be used to help transform these depressed areas.

I have said this before, culture (like sports) not only provides leisure and a distraction, but also helps many to gain employment, often self-employment. Culture and sports allow many who lack opportunities to hone skills and talent and find other ways to improve their quality of life and that of their families.

We must use the tools readily and easily available to help fight crime; the security forces alone cannot manage. There should be a special division in the ministry to immediately start working on more community projects with culture and sports, and there should be no problem getting funding from both Government and private sector to support the initiatives.

On another crime-related note, I was deeply shocked and extremely disturbed by the recent murder of former Meadowbrook High School student Mickolle Moulton of Arnett Gardens. Mickolle and her sister were shot in bed as they slept. Another young life snatched senselessly by vicious criminals who have zero regard for life. It was reported that Mickolle, a prospect for head girl at the school, refused sexual advances from men in the area, which makes the murder even more brutal and disgraceful! To whom can our young people turn for help? All Jamaicans should be ashamed that an incident like this occurred. It is frightening that criminals who carry out these brazen, barbaric acts continue to roam the streets. It cannot be just another day in Jamaica, we must get serious about fighting crime. Too much talk now, not enough action!

P Chin





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