Letters to the Editor

We must deal with the level of violent crimes in Jamaica

Monday, September 18, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The rate at which crime is increasing in Jamaica is quite alarming. The crime statistics in the country have been recording extremely violent and senseless killings to include, but not limited to, beheadings and the murder of children. Crimes against women and children have increased manifold during the recent past. This alarming increase in crimes is a cause of concern for all well-thinking citizens of the country and in the rest of the civilised world.

Lack of morals, lack of education, inequality, propagation of violence in films, in the behaviour of others (role models), irresponsible police behaviour, and a desire for easy money or undeserved prosperity in life are some of the reasons individuals commit crimes. Moreover, the absence of opportunity through access to education and channels to economic growth and prosperity all add to the current criminal insanity in Jamaica.

Consider parishes in sections of Jamaica such as Manchester, St Elizabeth, and St James that never felt anything close to the current levels of violence recorded today. These parishes are now not shielded from violence and are forefront in the news with crime waves mirroring Kingston and St Catherine.

Has man truly lost his soul? What compels a man to kill a child, an elderly man or woman? Some say poverty, anger, rage. Others say greed, selfishness, avariciousness, and “wan-ti, wan-ti, haffi get it” by any means necessary.

This situation must be tackled before it is too late. A multi-pronged approached is needed to arrest crime and violence in the Jamaican society. Such strategy must include avenues for access to education and job opportunities, and ultimately ways to ensure upward mobility and personal growth and development for individuals, especially the underprivileged, meaning those with no or little connection to the big man!

The public at large and all stakeholders interested in seeing an end to this madness must take a stand. Enough is enough. Bring back civilisation to Jamaica by speaking out against violent crimes and acts that can later lead to crime and violence. It means educating children from a young age to respect the sanctity of life and individual liberty, to obey laws; citizens becoming more responsible and demanding action and answers from their elected representatives; and the police responsible for enforcing the laws also need to handle cases with respect and dignity.

Any attempt to solve the crime problem in Jamaica must take into account the historical perspective on who we are as a people, where we came from, what we have accomplished; and the lessons we have learned of resilience, determination, and ambition from Nanny, Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, George Williams Gordon, Norman Manley, Alexander Bustamante, and many more unnamed heroes. Otherwise, it will be nothing but an illusion largely perceived and never attained in the foreseeable future.

Julie Taylor-Omole, PhD

Bel Air, Maryland, USA





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