Letters to the Editor

What are the true figures for Trench Town?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I find it difficult to accept what Mark Golding appears to be insinuating when he stated that the prime minister is making allegations in relation to the number of murders/shooting incidents that have taken place in Trench Town as he made the case for the extension of the state of public emergency (SOE) covering that area.

These allegations have hurt and offended the residents of Trench Town who now have to deal with the stigma attached to the community.

If I remember correctly, the prime minister was performing a duty of updating the Parliament on the statistics, which came directly from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, for the purpose of providing the appropriate justification for the SOE in the Corporate Area.

But beyond that, the prime minister, in his statement following the declaration of the Kingston SOE on October 2, 2018, expressed explicitly that it was not his aim to cast any stigma on the communities. His intent was simply to highlight the facts as they are — as a sort of 'why' the SOE must be enforced.

Certainly there is a level of understanding of how residents must feel, but the facts must equally be taken into account. The truth is that there is a high level of violence in the community and a light must be shone on it, and it must thereafter be dealt with in the appropriate manner.

It is not the goal of any leader of any country to single out and publicly shame any one section of its society. To do that will result in the loss of political capital, which is one of the most undesirable things a Government can do.

What the residents of Trench Town can do, in this instance, is to take this information they now have and turn that perceived stigma into impetus to report crime and participate in the Government's crime-fighting agenda by providing information to the security forces when they have it.

A word to Mark Golding: I refuse to accept that the prime minister maliciously presented those statistics. I also fail to understand the disparity between the statistics presented by the prime minister and Golding. I hope the Jamaica Constabulary Force acts very quickly to clarify this information.

I want to believe that the prime minister is the prime minister of all of Jamaica, not just parts of Jamaica.

I would also want to believe that the prime minister of all of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has good intentions for all of Jamaica.

Tessanne Redwood

fromshinolawithlove@gmail.com

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