Idiots of organised crime; environments that create them
Jason McKay

Gangs cannot exist without a source of income. It's that simple. Sometimes that source is extortion, sometimes its scamming, sometimes it's revenue from robberies, but mostly it's from Jamaicans living abroad who have emigrated and are drug dealers.

The larger, older gangs, such as the Klansman Gang in Spanish Town or the One Order Gang, are primarily funded from a massive extortion racket being paid by taxi men, street vendors, and Asian shop operators. There are other commercial interests paying them, of course, as well as narcotic activities by their membership overseas.

A similar situation exists in downtown Kingston with gangs that operate in that space, speaking specifically to Matthews Lane and Tivoli Gardens gangs. They virtually separate the business community in downtown, with the major contributors being the same type of operators as Spanish Town. They also have the ambient sources that the Spanish Town gangs have.

Most other gangs, however, rely on some demon living overseas whilst funding the bloodletting at home. Notable exceptions are the Montego Bay-based gangs that are the original scamming pioneers, who prey on the elderly abroad.

So this brings me to the title, more specifically the reference to idiots.

Why the term idiots? Because the lion's share of our gangs are being funded and directed by people who don't live here, are at no risk from suffering from the conflict they caused, and unlikely to have to deal with the police consequences, yet our idiots are doing their bidding.

So I know what you are thinking, you probably think they are well-paid, drive hot cars, and wear brand name clothes. Nope. They all are dirt poor, two underpants and one marina, real paupers. They live like pigs.

They have the lowest standard of living of the people in the settlements, which says a lot, considering most people living there have not improved economically over the last 100 years and are part of a cycle of generational poverty.

Why are their standards lower? Because they have to contend with the gangsters they are in conflict with and the police who are usually after them. So they can't really build a life.

I have considered, studied, and researched this phenomenon that turns people who played together as children into brutal enemies capable of unthinkable violence and hate, simply because some clown overseas is sending pennies to do their bidding.

I often broach this subject after charging them and point out that the decisions made by them for a voice on a phone will result in them spending years living like an animal, whilst the voice on the phone is still living his life.

It gets better. The rival gangsters, when incarcerated, call a truce once in custody. They often seem to get along like old friends. But the minute they are released, daggers are drawn and the war reboots like an android phone.

So I have conducted some further research, because if they are behaving that dumb they likely are. Most were barely literate and can barely scratch their name. Interestingly, less than one per cent of the 169 prisoners interviewed attended a traditional high school.

So, I asked myself, does the fact that they are behaving like dunces, following orders from a manipulative demon, and living like a pig mean that they are really not just evil, but damn fools? There could be no other explanation. They don't start out being poorer than the other guy who grows up right there, but goes to flip burgers rather than kill people like them.

The question also is: Why are they this stupid? Is it genetic, environmental, or educational?

Well there is a parental link, and yes, they all went to former secondary schools or none at all. But I don't think it's a defective gene. I think the common factor is the micro environment. Let me explain.

The slum is a deprived environment full of people living at a lower standard of living than most nationally. But most males in these slums between 18 to 35 don't become heartless killers. But most members of traditional crime families do. The commonality is not just the bloodline, but the shared space from generation to generation.

Based on this theory, it becomes easier to identify the likely offender. So, if I am correct, how do we stem the identified threat before he starts destroying lives.

Do we arrest him at puberty? Of course not. That is unthinkable. Maybe we can identify the likely killer before he becomes one and attempt a diversion.

Maybe we can ensure he doesn't become an idiot and then by extension a killer.

So, if we can agree they are idiots, then let us look at why, what makes him a dunce?

Well, I have identified a common factor, that being the non-traditional school. But most people who attend those schools don't become criminals, even if most criminals come from those schools. You see, there are good reasons that most criminals attend that type of school that impacts the figures and skew the result.

Firstly, 75 per cent of Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) or Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinees, as it has been rebranded, end up at non-traditional high schools.

Secondly, the brighter kids do not end up there, either.

Thirdly, only the poor end up at non-traditional schools. Too many factors influence the results to blame the schools.

Parenting, I think, is the common factor.

Remember, pickpockets and prostitutes have kids too. It is unlikely that this group will parent well. So the child or nephew or cousin of a killer will most likely, if raised in the same space, become a killer too.

That at-risk kid will be a risk to society as an adult. As sorry as I am for that child, I am as concerned for my safety when he is an adult with a gun.

The lesson? The best self-defence is preventing that child who is at a disadvantage from becoming an adult idiot with a gun.


Jason McKay

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy