Time for citizens to play their partThursday, September 16, 2021
Despite what is recognised as the largest investment in the national security architecture in this country over the past five years by any Jamaican Government for over a generation, we continue to experience an alarming rate of homicide.
The current Government has been spending huge sums on upgrading the human, physical, technical and investigative capacity of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and although, incremental in some degree, the returns are evident.
There is a certain reality that must be appreciated, however, in that no society is immune to crime and violence. At the same time, a society that is disciplined and caring will have markedly lower levels of crime and violence. The total disregard for law and order cannot continue unabated and again the onus is on citizens, who know what is happening, to provide information to the police.
We have witnessed over the past two weeks of COVID-19 lockdown several heinous murders and shooting incidents. The police have done an admirable job during these challenging times and will continue to employ effective, professional, and smart policing tactics to combat this murder wave.
News of 18 murders over the past weekend, including four people from one family in Clarendon, have arrested the collective attention of the country and further highlighted what has been said countless times by this ministry, that it will take a complete re-engineering of our social and civil practices to bring about meaningful change.
With that said, it should be useful to note that police statistics indicate that all serious crimes, including rape, robbery and break-ins, are trending downward and we endeavour to continue this trend with the effective effort of the members of the JCF, but it is evidently clear that the challenge remains with murder and shooting, which threatens to scuttle the efforts of the Government in the fight against crime and violence.
All the good work and successes that have been achieved over the past few years could come to naught if the people we seek to protect and serve continue to refuse to do their part.
Over the past few years the police have arrested and charged several violence producers, placed them before the courts, and have had them prosecuted; however, many still roam the country with impunity, and these men, and in some cases women and youth, are known by those who care for them, who provide shelter and food for them.
It is therefore these very people who we intend to focus on getting our message to. If a change is going to come, it is the people who have intimate knowledge about these alleged killers that must step up and share whatever they know with law enforcement in order for us to turn the corner on crime.
The Government is doing its part by providing the necessary investment to have the police operating at optimum efficiency, but it is the input from the citizenry by way of providing quality information leading to arrests and convictions that will result in the eradication of the high murder rate that is sure to incapacitate the entire nation.
Paul N Clarke
Communications Advisor/Consultant to the Minister of National Security
Ministry of National Security