There is no question about whether Jamaica is in a crisis and real emergency when it comes to criminal activity and the elements within the society. There is a history of countless measures being implemented to try and counter the scourge of crime over several decades and if we are, to be honest, nothing has been used that brought long term results of consistent reduction. The recent use of the State of Emergency and Zones of Special Operation has had one noticeable trademark, quite unlike all measures in the past…the reports of abuse and extrajudicial killings by the security forces have been literally a thing forgotten and no longer in existence.
The effects of the measures have seen many positive results, but the constant political football has created many ‘own goals’ and the proverbial “ten steps forward and five steps back”. We need to face some rather uncomfortable and disturbing truths about Jamaica, the history we face and have faced and more than anything else, the need to stem the wave of crime in no uncertain terms. If it is that major reports of abuse are almost nonexistent while crime is being reduced, little by little, then we have room to up the ante, and no matter how many voices keep screaming about “rights”, we must compare the rights of the average citizen to live peacefully and safely in Jamaica.
These are not regular times and the criminal element and network are far removed from the animal we are used to trying to tame. The measures required must equally match the beast and slay it at all cost, while of course observing the human rights principles and practices. But the fear of appearing harsh and exercising a zero-tolerance policy cannot allow the criminal element to believe that the longer they persist, the more likely it is that they will win the war. It is unacceptable for 1500 citizens of a country to be murdered with impunity, hundreds of thousands to live in fear and for a small number of persons to hold the entire nation to ransom.
Many of the measures sound far more dreadful than reality can fathom, but the numbers and data on murder figures will always be an even more daunting and haunting reality to face. The murder of one Jamaican impacts at least seven other persons in a very close and personal way. Those who wish to consider it in economic terms can calculate the loss in billions per year. The international profile impacts the tourism and lifeblood of the country. Whatever route you choose, the scourge of crime cannot be faced and defeated by talk, meetings and the use of the politically correct approach. The guns and men behind them have no desire to be amiable and likeable when they come to kill…you. Let’s Face It.