Where Is The “Political Will” To Tackle Jamaica’s Crime Problem?

While the Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding said the following at a fundraising event at the Jamaica Pegasus in 2005:

“The number one priority to which we must direct our energies and resources is not on new highways, not even on education – as important as that is. It must be on tackling this monster of crime and violence. It can be done ! It requires political will and when we become the government we will make the treatment of crime the number one priority of our government.”

With the murder of my cousin in Linstead in February of this year and now the murder of my friend’s brother, Mark DeFreitas, this past Friday, I am calling on Prime Minister Bruce Golding to show this “political will” which he spoke of. Crime and especially the murder rate, increased under the PNP while the JLP kept saying it had a plan. A plan was drafted and the author of that plan was the Minister of National Security for a short period after the JLP won the 2007 elections.

Crime is now even worse and we are fast heading towards a record murder rate again. JLP, you have done no better than the PNP but you claimed to have a plan and that you could solve Jamaica’s crime problem in a period even shorter than your first term, I recall a claim of “two years” (correct me if I am wrong).

If it is expected that Jamaicans abroad will move back home, help others start businesses, encourage tourists to visit or if the government seriously intends to secure greater foreign direct investment in sectors other than tourism and bauxite mining, or if the government intends resident Jamaicans to feel comfortable starting small businesses and trusting the police, then it isĀ IMPERATIVEĀ that the crime plan be fully implemented. There is no point in getting lower interest rates, enacting tax reform, improving healthcare and reducing the costs of education if crime continues to increase.

A country cannot achieve its true potential with a crime rate like that of Jamaica and it is high time that our elected officials are held accountable. PNP, do NOT stand in the way of crime legislation (make sure it protects our rights but do not just oppose for opposition sake).

I want a safer Jamaica because that means it will be a better Jamaica. We were told to swallow the “bitter pill” of the IMF and we will have to swallow some bitter pills if we are to truly root out corruption and deal with crime effectively.

After those dark days however, the sun will shine on Jamaica again and we can truly be proud of the gold in our flag instead of wearing the black at so many funerals.

By David Mullings

49 comments so far
francineb Posted by: francineb April 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm