Focus on the oppressed to reduce crime

Dear Editor,

We have become a crime-infested society mainly because we fail to recognise that crime is a symptom of deep-rooted sociocultural and economic neglect that can only be solved when we commit to long-term programmes for improvement of our inner-city slums and squatter settlements.

If we continue to focus on states of emergency, we will keep flogging a dead horse.

We need to involve the residents of inner-city slums in all stages of the planning and development of programmes that are sustainable and address infrastructural upgrading, along with social, cultural and economic upliftment.

Having a vibrant, exciting, humming economy with opportunities abounding for all will encourage most people to stay here and build Jamaica rather than consider migrating, then we will see a marked decline in crime and violence.

It will not be an overnight transformation, but a committed and sustained effort at improving the lot of our most oppressed and poorest people will reap huge rewards for the entire country in the long run.

Peace, love, and understanding must rule our actions.

Robert Stephens

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