There is much that can be said about crime in the Caribbean region and the way individual Island nations deal with it on their own.
One thing is certain, is that no Caribbean country has dealt as poorly with the issue of crime as Jamaica has.
Across the region, we have seen people take decided stances, in some cases even more strident than their respective governments, has been against who they believe are violence producers who will inexorably degrade the quality of their lives. This has sparked protests from our native Jamaica, and her nationals, a clear sign that Jamaicans are having doors slammed shut in their faces even across the CARICOM region.
A former colleague retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant spoke eloquently on this issue in a social media post days ago, detailing in no uncertain terms how our political leaders have let Jamaica down as a matter of political expediency, and our countrymen and women pursue a path of destruction while expecting good outcomes.
DCP grant wrote in reference to a local publication’s headline “murders galore”, It is a dismal indictment on a failing society that glorifies the wrong values and idolizes persons who promote mayhem. Even more appalling is the ignorance that prevents us from cause and effects outcomes, we do the same things day in day out and are surprised when we get a worsening of the same outcomes.
Needless to say, these pages have been dedicated since 2010 to arguing, and urging my fellow Jamaicans to change course from the path they are on.
The central theme as validated by Grant is that we are yet to make the link between respect for the rule of law and safety and security.
The average Jamaican would like to live to a ripe old age, even those who engage in taking the lives of others, they too cry like little bitches when confronted with certain death.
Yet arguably, the average Jamaican engages in practices that literally guarantee that they will be victimized by violent crime.
Hiding criminals. Refusing to give information to law enforcement in confidence. Actively shielding criminals. Benefitting and profiting from criminal conduct. Demonizing and slandering law-enforcement for doing their jobs. Actively engaging in demonstrations against police and providing false statements to adversarial agencies opposed to the rule of law, are only a few of those practices which are antithetical to a stable democratic nation.
Some of the factors which plague Jamaica also plague other Caribbean nations. Political interference. Lobbying from entities like defense lawyers, so-called human rights groups and other NGOs has provided succor and support to criminal gangs in ways they never bargained for.
The year 2019 just concluded and even though we do not have the official crime statistics from the police, it is safe to say that over 1300 Jamaicans have been murdered despite the implementation of multiple States Emergencies (SOE’s) & Zones Of Special Operations (ZOSO’s) across various hotspots across the Island.
Clearly, the measures in place are not working. Clearly, a new approach is needed. The solution to Jamaica’s crime epidemic is not to be found in any new crime plan, ZOSO, SOE or any other stop-gap measure.
In fact, it will not be found in the training of more of the same courtesy corps cops who are being turned out onto the streets in numbers but are unable to effect a simple arrest with dispatch and proficiency.
A thousand zeroes are still worth nothing unless a solid positive number precedes them, More poorly trained, poorly supervised, poorly renumerated, poorly supported police makes no difference.
During my service, I saw those deadwood cops in name only. As one who engages in social commentary years later, I see the same deadwood, many of whom served over three decades yet made not a damn difference beyond the salaries they collected.
Most of them are the harshest critics of those who proffer workable ideas outside their scope of understanding.
Across the Caribbean Sea in the twin Island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago murders and acts of terrorism has long being a part of their infrastructure as it has been ours.
Today Trinidad and Tobago have a Police Commissioner who exemplifies what policing and leadership of police services ought to look like.
Commissioner Gary Griffiths is a no-nonsense police commissioner who is a cop’s cop.
He is unafraid of the special interest, criminal lawyers, ( term self-explanatory). Those who make a name from demonizing cops, and others tasked with investigating cops
This year, this medium celebrates a decade of commitment to the rule of law, through its unwavering support for the nation’s law enforcement agency.
As it’s founder, and a past member of the JCF, I have completed countless hours of research and writings dedicated to the betterment of our country, through support for the rule of law.
Throughout that time I have argued that the hierarchy of the JCF has been the most corrupt incompetent bunch of people anywhere in law enforcement.
Some of the adjectives I have used to describe them have been unsavory but well earned.
In recent times the new head of the Police Federation Sergeant Petra Rowe has shed the cloak of fear and tore into that same group labeling them lazy, and opposed to the present commissioner’s agenda.
It is good to see new police leadership growing balls and speaking out against this corrupt lot of incompetents.
This however in no way absolves the imbecilic leadership of the two political parties. Neither has shown a dedication to the security and solvency of Jamaica. Instead what they have engaged in are cheap political posturing which has been dangerously detrimental to our country, all because of the need to gain and maintain political control.
At least when Commissioner Griffiths speaks in Trinidad and Tobago those political imbeciles have the shame to remain silent.
In Jamaica, a police commissioner is merely a lapdog for the criminal supporting morons who beat the desks in the parliament building. As such from 103 Old Hope Road down, the JCF is nothing but a neutered mongrel with no bark, and certainly no bite.
If only we had police leaders in our country willing to stand up for Jamaica, but of course, our societal mongrels would not even have the shame to simply shut their stupid mouths.
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.