MP urges residents to speak up, work together to fight crimeWednesday, August 04, 2021
BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Government Member of Parliament (MP) and state minister for local government Homer Davis has expressed concern that Jamaica has now become the murder capital of the Caribbean.
“I want us to all celebrate, knowing very well that as a nation we have shown great resilience, focus and dedication, especially since the onset of the [novel coronavirus pandemic]. [But] sometimes… we take freedom for granted. How did we get here? How did we become the murder capital of the Caribbean?” he asked. He was speaking during the Emancipendence Thanksgiving Service at the Maldon Baptist Church in his constituency on Sunday.
Up to August 3, murders were up seven per cent over the figures for last year. There were 780 in 2020 and there have been 835 so far this year.
Davis is urging residents of his St James Southern constituency to speak up and work together with the relevant authorities in their combined fight against crime and violence. He has also vowed to do the same.
“I am not one to be afraid to [pass on information to the police] but sometimes, as members of the community, you must do [more] to make your environment safe,” he urged.
Davis pointed out that, with residents' help, more can be done to ensure that unattached youth get the assistance they need to keep them from a life of crime.
“I am talking specifically about some young men, some of [whom] are very bright, who sometimes need some [counselling], but we allow them to go on [and] on until they become the top shotta [or] the most wanted man. We can't live like that. We need to say enough is enough,” he said.
Davis, a first-time MP for St James Southern, has vowed that he, too, will do his part in the fight against crime by reporting illegal activities that he is made aware of to the relevant authorities. It was his way, he said, of working to ensure that his constituents are able to “sit on your verandas at night and enjoy the cool breeze, you and your wife drinking a beer; not locked away”.
“You cannot be a prisoner in your own home,” added the MP.
“The time has come for all of us, stakeholders of this blessed parish, to come together in harmony to make this parish and, by extension, the entire Jamaica, a better place. The time for action is now. Don't think that anybody is coming from anywhere to solve our problem, we [must] solve our own problem,” he stressed.
He noted that newly promoted Senior Superintendent of Police Vernon Ellis who heads the St James Police Division is “doing his best, but without the help of the citizens, all that he is doing will be in vain”.
Custos of St James Bishop Conrad Pitkin also joined in the call for unity.
“Today, I call on all well-thinking Jamaicans to unite and let us end the state of murder and violence [and] abuse of our neighbours and our children. Let us work together that we can make our brothers, sisters, and children safe and secure in their own homes, on the streets, and [in] the communities,” he said.