Yesterday I wrote an article that was less than complimentary of the Jamaican Prime Minister and his handling of the Nation’s crime-fighting strategy.
I want to continue addressing the island’s crime surge today with the same clear-eyed focus I tried to use in the January 27th article.
For decades, the two political parties that rule Jamaica have done nothing to advance the country’s rule of law. In fact, they have advanced measures that have exponentially cemented a culture of criminality that literally transcends any police department’s ability to eradicate, least of all, the poorly trained, poorly equipped, poorly paid, and supervised JCF.
Members of the two political parties have been surrogates for dangerous criminals and still are today.
They send cop-killers away in the dead of night. They encourage members of their constituencies to demonstrate against the police. They get involved in police investigations; they encourage punitive measures against decent police officers who try to do their jobs; of course, this is only possible because the leadership of the JCF has been slavish lapdogs, always looking to serve their masters for a pat on the back. Members of the two parties have been connected to gangland activities, including the murder of Jamaican citizens.
It is impossible then to have a country where the rule of law is respected when the head of the stream is as filth and corrupted as that which exists in our country.
It ought to come as no surprise that, according to [Transparency International, our beautiful little island continue to be one of the most corrupt nations on earth.
In fact, a recent report indicates that Jamaica is the Caribbean’s fifth most corrupt country. In Transparency’s latest report, for the year 2020, Jamaica inched up from a score of 43 to 44 out of 100, in a context where zero is deemed very corrupt, and 100 is very clean.
In simple terms, Jamaica hasn’t even yet reached the halfway mark away from the worst corruption indicator, which is zero.
This ought to give us some perspective as we ponder the entrenched criminality washing over the tiny island of 2.8 million people.
Members of parliament double as defense lawyers to violent murderers. They leave the courtroom then head over to Gordon house to legislate on the nation’s violent crime rate.
To say that this is unethical is to state the obvious. To accept the conflict of interest inherent in this kind of practice is to begin to understand the complex level of corruption which brought Jamaica to the point where the Island is teetering on the brink of becoming a failed state.
As we plug into those realities, we see the consequences of these entrenched yet unaddressed issues. It is no wonder then that since the start of 2021, the Parish of Saint James has seen an increase of 350 percent in murders against the previous year.
Saint James may be experiencing the largest increase in violent crime, but it is not the only Parish experiencing a surge in violence. The shocking uptick of murders in the Island’s tourism mecca has gone on unabated; it is a precise metric of the country’s failure to get its arms around this crime monster.
Pride and arrogance will cause us to lose this once pearl of the Caribbean; ignorance, and pretense are citadels of defense against the strategies that would inexorably begin to turn the hellish crime monster around.
Like pouring water into a basket, they continue to nibble around the edges. They continue to administer band-aids to gunshot wounds, while consoling the casualty with platitudes, even as he bleeds to death.
Braggadocio’s pre-written statements of resolve, a reactionary show of force, only to pull back because of its unsustainability, are nothing if not comical.
In previous years the thing to do would be to fire the Commissioner of Police. Blaming the victim worked up until they painted themselves into a corner that belies everything they told the country before.
Previous commissioners who came up through the ranks were incapable of doing the job they were trained to do, so they had to bring in people from outside.
Of course, those outsiders had to come from the fix-it sad sack army with its own mountain of problems with criminality, but I digress. I am really not looking to burst any starry-eyed bubble that may still exist about the Army’s professionalism. Not today.
So this is their golden boy, former head of the Military, intelligent, with the letters to match, not tainted by the squaddie mentality; what’s not to like?
Only that he has presided over the worst increases in homicides and other violent crimes in the nation’s history.
So what now? What is the story now, crickets?
Why are there no calls for the resignation of Anthony Anderson? I’ll tell you, they knew that changing Commissioners of police would do nothing to alleviate rising crime, but they needed a scapegoat.
Moving around deck chairs on the sinking Titanic will do nothing to stop the ship from sinking; who exactly were they fooling?
Having shone a little light on causation, let’s now provide a few solutions.
(1)Watered down laws do nothing to deter criminals. Pass laws that send clear messages to violent offenders that if you commit murder, you will not see the light of day.
(2) Remove foreign-funded groups from the legislative table. No other nation allows so-called human rights lobby a seat at the table, much less allow them to dictate legislation.
(3) Law ‑Enforcement is not always pretty; sometimes it gets messy. Allow the police to do their jobs within the framework of the law. When they violate their oath, hold them accountable.
(4) Discontinue doing the things I laid out in paragraph one.
(5) Provide the police with the resources they need to get the job done.
(6) Get out of the way of the Police.
Mike writes for thinkers.
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.