Tue | Nov 21, 2017

Letter of the Day | Stubborn Holness hinders successful crime fight

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Jamaica's national security administration is in crisis. The Government has been callous and seemingly numb to the killing of Jamaicans. Since the incumbency of the Holness administration, there has been no attempt at a comprehensive national policy to deal with growing crime, which has seen a near 30 per cent rise in murder. Nearly 1,400 people have been killed this year.

Despite several calls from the Opposition, influential civil-society groups and business organisations for a national approach, the Government has stoutly resisted this in favour of a knee-jerk and piecemeal response to the issues of crime, public safety and public order. Not even a request for national dialogue has been entertained.

The Government chooses to turn its back on advice and continues to flounder in darkness, as they refuse to take counsel. Many issues, including financial resources, mobility, technology and remuneration, have been major causes for the low morale in the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The Government remains stubborn with its head buried in the sand.

The low morale affecting members of the force must be addressed. This country cannot afford to put others on the front line to protect all and, at the same time, refuse to settle their due remuneration, starve them of critical resources, and expect them to perform at optimum.

The prime minister and the minister of national security must awake from their slumber and blind party loyalty to failed approaches and be willing to open their minds to consultation and suggestions from all sections of the Jamaican society, including the Opposition.

 

RELUCTANT TO ACT

 

Prime Minister Holness has been reluctant to act on the rulings of anti-corruption agencies such as the Office of the Contractor General. This refusal signals to the wider society his contempt for law and order and shows continued disregard for good governance.

We again call on the government to embark on the national consultation to get consensus leading to a comprehensive crime and security policy which is modern, effective and funded. It is only with this approach that the government will get the buy-in and support for success.We call on the Government to immediately implement the actions already agreed upon but which have been languishing for want of the political will and a proper managerial approach to policy implementation. These include the MOCA Bill and the anti-corruption decisions that they have failed to advance.

One Jamaican shot and killed every four hours is not acceptable.

FITZ JACKSON

Opposition Spokesman on National Security