The Prime Minister’s concession that, quote: ‘The country’s crime problem has “evolved currently, over and above our established capacity to address it”, should be a monumentally profound statement politically and policy-wise, but in a country like ours, it will spark barely a ripple except for political mileage.
An inane quote from a dancehall artiste would garner more interest than the Prime Minister’s profound concession of failure, which he has arrived at way too late.
In 2016 I wrote the article below in which I implored the Prime Minister to fire Terrence Williams from INDECOM.
My thought process was that since the administration would not table legislation in the parliament to repeal the INDECOM law that was created by a previous JLP administration, hopefully, removing the cancerous growth, Terrence Williams, would help to minimize some of the damage being done, until another administration took office that was not blinkered by myopia.
The above article has been one of the most widely read that I have written to-date, garnering tens of thousands of readers, according to Google analytics.
There is hardly a chance that the Prime Minister did not read it, or was told about it, according to one well-placed source with close ties to the administration.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister did not heed my warnings to him to remove the contentious, and self ‑serving Terrence Williams from the equation, even if he did not want to remove the (Trojan horse) we have come to know as INDECOM.
Rather than take my unsolicited counsel, the Prime Minister doubled down on the strategy which brought him to where we are today, forcing him to concede defeat to the killers roaming our country.
Every Jamaican who is not benefitting from crime should today be extremely agitated and up in arms at their Government at the statements of defeat coming from the nation’s chief executive.
We were bound to get here, just days ago I wrote that a Saint Andrew Member of Parliament Fayval Williams extolled the values of peace marches on her social media page.
I contended then, that people without political power can march all they want, but the people with the power to effectuate change on behalf of their constituents should not be talking about political marches as a solution to the wave of violent crimes sweeping the country.
When politicians do that I argued, it is an act of capitulation. It says “we are out of options”.
The instances of the Prime Minister throwing his support to Terrence Williams and INDECOM and berating the brave officers in our country, which allows him to have a country to govern are many.
In June of 2017, while addressing a so-called use of force conference convened at the Jamaica Conference Center by, you guessed it.….….….….INDECOM, Andrew Holness said the following.
Quote: The use of force to maintain law and order has not achieved anything beneficial.
“The society that we are trying to create cannot rely on the use of force to get the preservation of law and order. For too long, since our independence, since our colonial past, we have relied on force, in order to get law and order.”
The truth of the matter is that there is no factual data that supported the Prime Minister’s assertion that there has been a reliance on force to maintain law and order.
The reality is that when citizens break the laws and law-enforcement intervenes to enforce the laws and those citizens decide to resist, force becomes a necessity.
It is because of that why the laws were written decades and decades ago, long before Andrew Holness or myself were born to give the police the right to use force in the execution of their duties should the need arise.
Nowhere in the world has it been demonstrably more necessary to use force to enforce the laws than in Jamaica.
Instead of hobnobbing with INDECOM, Holness would have been better served by using his elevated platform as Prime Minister, to educate the large mass of illiterate and lawless people who fundamentally believe it is their God-given right, not just to resist their own arrest, but also to intervene in trying to preventing every other arrest.
The Prime Minister made no attempt to balance his assertions at that conference with facts. Surely as the leader of the country, he could have called up the commissioner of police and ask for police use of force guidelines.
He could have asked them to give him data on the number of times force was used against the police, which is critically important data to have when one is writing a speech or is about to deliver one on police use of force.
He has a staff of people who ask “how high” when he says jump.
But he could not be bothered having facts, what he cared about was making the case for INDECOM, it’s bloated budget and fine offices and amenities, while police officers were literally living and working in bird feces in some police stations.
Since the Prime Minister could not bother to tell the truth, I decided to publish the truth.
A report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) showed that, in 2014, the police were shot at 470 times, 425 times in 2015, and 502 in 2016. During those incidents, two policemen were murdered and eight injured in 2014, eight were murdered and 19 injured in 2015, while six were killed and 22 injured in 2016. At the same time, in 2014 some 112 civilians were killed by the police, 92 in 2005, and 102 the following year.
In addition to the violence against the police for those years here is a list of the number of Jamaicans who were reported murdered to the police.
This information was easily sourced, but Prime Minister Holness did not bother to source it.
It did not jive with his pre-conceived world-view of law enforcement, despite his many police bodyguards.
What was important to him was to make the case against the police. His preconceived ideas are having consequences now.
Police officers are not allowed to touch the murderers so they are free to kill at will.
The Police have rightly shouldered arms.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.