Government not ready to tackle crime

It has become abundantly clear that the Government is absolutely clueless about finding solutions to crime.

Having listened to the chief servant, Prime Minister Bruce Golding in Parliament last week, we are left to feel that we are on the Titanic – waiting to live, waiting to die.

With more than 500 Jamaicans murdered since the start of the year, our prime minister seems to be suggesting that our best hope is for us as a people to surrender our right and hope for the best.

He still seems to think that the anti-crime bills before Parliament are somewhat of a silver bullet and that their implementation will be to the benefit of law enforcement.

But The Gavel would be devastated if the parliamentary Opposition backs away from its position that the anti-crime bills are unjust. Those anti-crime bills, we believe, are nothing but a ripe area for criminologists looking at legislative mistakes.

El Salvador has already admitted that its anti-gang laws were big mistakes. They had experimented with tough policing against youths and strong anti-gang legislation and found that it led to increasing levels of serious crimes.

We understand the prime minister’s anxiety to get the nation settled. We understand why he would appeal to the gallery to say he is going to jail all gunmen and murderers and let them know that they cannot hold the ship of state at ransom, hence the reason for his draconian crime bills.

Presumption of innocence

However, a fundamental issue that is not captured by the crime bills is the presumption of innocence. In fact, these bills are proposing, in one instance, that once a person who is on bail for a certain kind a crime is accused of committing another serious act, his chances of making bail again should be slim. This is nothing shy of nonsense.

In all of the discussions, Golding and his guys have consistently said that the record indicates that several persons accused of major crimes were on bail at the time they were alleged to have committed the second offence. However, what is missing from the discussion is the corresponding set of statistics as to the reason these persons were offered bail in the first instance.

Even without the facts to support us on this point, The Gavel believes that, as is the case throughout the entire criminal justice system, judges are forced to offer bail because the prosecution is not ready to proceed.

Now, just imagine taking any Jamaican off the street, accuse him of a crime and stuff him into an overcrowded lock-up and keep him there for up to 60 days while the State, with all its resources, determine if a case has been made out again him strong enough for conviction in a criminal court.

Triumphed over Babylon

We need no criminologist to tell us that the man, who is innocent of the charges and has been denied his rights because of these anti-crime bills, would turn against the state. And that another man, who may have committed the crime but because of the shoddy investigation done by the police, is freed, will be glorified as having triumphed over Babylon.

Before we get to the stage of lock up and throw away keys, there are many areas of our criminal justice system that first have to be improved. It is for this reason that we are saddened that Golding has neither identified these areas, nor has he given us reason to hope.

Beyond being saddened, we are concerned about the tone of the prime minister on the issue of US guns coming into Jamaica. He has gone to the extent of saying he would like to see the US approach the issue of illegal guns coming into Jamaica with the same vigour with which Jamaica attempts to stop drugs from leaving our shores.

PM serious

However, we have not seen anything from the prime minister, which suggests he is serious about tackling the issue head on.

Long before he became Prime Minister, Golding acknowledged that garrisons were fertile ground for the breeding of criminals. So convinced he was about it that his party’s manifesto said a Jamaica Labour Party government would de-garrisonise communities. It has not happened and these communities have spawned little ‘shottas’ who now terrorise the country.

We were hoping that the prime minister would have used his budget presentation to illustrate that he is committed to taking the profit, fame and style out of criminality.

We were hoping to hear of a real strategy to crush criminal networks and organised crime. What we got was nothing.

Perhaps this anti-crime strategy is still being worked out and the national security minister, Dwight Nelson, will speak about it whenever he makes his state of the nation address in the Senate. We have no idea when that will be or what will be contained therein. We just have to wait; wait to live, wait to die.


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5 Responses to “Government not ready to tackle crime”

  1. Uforatie says:

    Of course these so-called leaders do not want to stop crime. They do not want to stop their gunman friends from doing their thing.

    Have you noticed that there is no death penalty in Jamaica, the murder capital of the world? This is so because these politicians are terrified of the possibility of having to execute their murderous friends.

    I think it is time the people march on Gordon House and demand some action by these so-called leaders who are eating taxpayers money and doing nothing. When they are not in Gordon House tracing off one another, they are fiddling their thombs and scratching their empty heads while Jamaica burns with the guns their friends bring into the country.

    Jamaicans, get rid of these brain-dead, dim-witted, visionless so-called leaders before there is no way back!

  2. Vincent White says:

    We are not boisterous enough regarding this element of devastation. We all gorilla-up our faces and send symbolic threats to the Government regarding lack of it not being able to honor payments to teachers and other public workers, but sit passively “WAITING TO LIVE WAITING TO DIE” doing nothing about the most serious element to our going forward. I am beginning to wonder if we are waiting on another BATISTA Fidel senario. Why? Because neither of the Governments has displayed the will to tackle this MAD DOG ACTION of THE GROUND FOOT SOLDIERS of this scourge.My belief, that’s when the real Mc Coys will be unveiled. What really amazes me is the continous call from one-and-all for employment. Who DARES TO EMBARK ON PROVIDING THE FACILITIES for such to happen? Permission will have to be granted by the Dirty Old Niggers as well as a weekly distribution,regardless. The last attempt to stem this scourge was during the PNP’S reign, but ironically put to pasture by the same PNP. And that was by the creation of the CMU headed by Mr.Adams. Now call it what you want, but no angels died as a result of this team. Do you agree Mr. Thompson? We can all sit back and call measures draconick while we shiver and hide under tables and beds, day after day, nights after nights while the crime operators wine and dine in the most expensive prestigious restaurants and water holes throughout Jamaica. I wonder if a passport for residency in LIME CAY is necessary?

  3. Brandon says:

    Neither the opposition nor the government are ready to tackle crime. The former government could not get a handle and this was as a consequence of the approaches that were taken that would not reap success. The problem of crime largely has to do with the issue of enforcement or in our case lack thereof. Then also we’ll have to begin to look at the society that our politics have created over the years. Should any of these parties decide to once and for all deal with this chronic problem, some among their ranks will have to take the fall and therein lies our problem. Thats all i have to say, so it will never be fixed.

  4. mike beckles says:

    ‘In fact, these bills are proposing, in one instance, that once a person who is on bail for a certain kind a crime is accused of committing another serious act, his chances of making bail again should be slim. This is nothing shy of nonsense.’
    I have put your own words in inverted commas for you to read so you can see for yourself how stupid you sound, I have always maintained that only Jamaica, can so many who know so little speak so loudly about things they know nothing about.
    By your twisted distorted logic irrespective of the allegations against an individual we should turn them back onto the streets to kill , terrorize, maim, threaten, and injure, because by this logic they have the presumption of innocence on their side, .
    It matters not in your twisted state of mind that because someone is not yet convicted of a crime that does not make them innocent.
    It is this Ivory tower mentality that has permeated the psyche of Jamaica by elitist liberals like yourself who loathes the rule of law that has fostered this state of affairs, the air of superiority, and grandiosity is nauseating.

  5. mike beckles says:

    This article contradicts itself,on one hand it wants the crime situation to be addressed forthwith and on the other it disavows taking killers off the streets even when they are on bail and kills again what kind of Country are we going to have if National Security is to be impacted by these people.
    Criminals know one language:Force .We cannot hold hands pray and beg Criminals not to commit Crimes, singing cumba ya .this simple minded approach is not a solution we have been trying this since so-called independence, it does not work, people must be made to not commit crimes and if they do they must know that they will be caught and when they are caught they will wish they did not commit those crimes , end of story.

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The Gavel Posted by: The Gavel April 26, 2010 at 11:55 am