PSOJ president wants more corporate involvement in crime Plan Secure JamaicaTuesday, December 07, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) is seeking more corporate support for crime in Jamaica, which he believes will help to lift productivity in Jamaica and grow the island's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to a more acceptable level.
According to Keith Duncan, the island currently has a method to tackle the crime situation, which is called Plan Secure Jamaica from which he claims that the Crime Management Oversight Committee (C-MOC) has extracted 39 deliverables, which is monitored carefully at the monthly meetings.
Duncan stated that this is the effort to bring the murder rate down below 1,000 each year, which has not been done within the last 20 years and he blames the social decay that the island has experienced for nearly three decades. This is said is also enabling an unstructured society.
He said Plan Secure Jamaica includes social interventions, judiciary, legislature, modernising of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the national security infrastructure, and correctional services.
He reasoned that crime is being perpetrated among 552,500 who have not offered themselves for work. He said this is from the two million Jamaicans who are 14 years and over who are eligible to work, with 215,000 attending schools.
He said the situation is even compounded, as of the 1.2 million Jamaicans that are employed, 765,000 have no certification.
“That is 63 per cent of the workforce. If Jamaica is to advance and grow beyond this low growth scenario that we have, if we don't have the human capital to deliver, we won't get the growth that we want. So, therefore, we then have to look to focus efforts in the area of education and training to upskill the people.
“A well and educated and trained workforce will add value. If we have an educated workforce, they will be able to get a job, they will be able to earn more, they will be able to spend more in our businesses and they will be able to drive value-added growth in our economy,” he said.
According to Duncan, the money that the Government of Jamaica used on both education and social programmes has not brought positive outcomes.
He said that while Jamaica's spending in education is higher than other regional countries at the GDP and per capita levels, the island's education system places very little on early childhood education, with more than 50 per cent of that population moving each year to Grade One, without being ready.
Duncan stated that a Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) study indicates that in the 10 years between 2007 and 2018, no value was received for the approximately $387 billion that was spent on social programmes.
He asked the PSOJ members to spend 20 per cent of their Corporate Responsibility Budget (CSR) in 20 marginalised communities that produce over 70 per cent of the violent crimes in Jamaica.
“We are not asking to spend any more. We are saying could they look at the possibility of supporting, social intervention programmes in these communities, whether it be homework centres, breakfast programmes and psycho-social support.
“How can we coordinate and ensure that we are working collaboratively with the Government of Jamaica, NGOs to make sure that we are targeting these areas that have experienced this decline and decay over the years so that we can start to reverse this trend and to make Jamaica that place where we want to call home, where we feel safe and secure,” Duncan said.