Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Need for accurate, sober review

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

For decades, there was little to no rehabilitative or maintenance work done on our police stations and lock-ups islandwide. The state of too many police stations reflect the inaction and lip service that has been paid to crime-fighting over many years.

The Holness administration has made it clear that it will take strong and decisive action concerning crime in this country. Along with the states of public emergency and the zones of special operations, the Ministry of National Security has repaired over 40 police stations and has made allocations to rehabilitate all 186 police stations across the island over the next two years.

The issue of sanitation in Montego Bay has not affected the lock-ups alone. For years, police officers have complained of unsanitary conditions, to no avail.

While conditions are not ideal, at the Freeport Police Station, this location, as with many others across the island, the work to rehabilitate and rebuild has already begun after years of negligence. Comments in the public domain, to suggest unusual or extraordinary conditions, are misleading and disingenuous.

In 2017, St James recorded a murder rate of 322. In a city of only 180,000 residents, with a homicide rate of 150 per 100,000, this was a homicide epidemic.

The efforts of the combined security forces have begun to yield fruit. The issues that led Jamaica to this state of lawlessness and bloodshed did not happen overnight. Consequently, the work to restore public safety certainly will not be accomplished in a few months. Since January 2018 to date, St James has recorded a 70 per cent reduction in murders. Today, at least 216 citizens are alive and 100 children continue to have parental support, guidance and love.

Howard O. Chamberlain Jr

President of Young Jamaica,

The Youth Arm of the Jamaica Labour Party