Jamaica’s National Democratic Movement (NDM) is calling for the country’s security minister Trevor MacMillan, and the commissioner of police, Hardley Lewin, to step aside if they are unable to curb the island’s murder rate and runaway crime.
“The NDM is completely dissatisfied with the Commissioner of Police’s approach to crime and the murder rate in particular. We are also uncomfortable with the police head’s incremental approach to reducing murder and other serious crimes in the country,” said a release by the party, which was founded by Prime Minister Bruce Golding when he broke with the Jamaica Labour Party to which he subsequently returned.
The release over the signature of NDM general secretary, Michael Williams, said that the police commissioner is estimating that there will be a five per cent reduction in the murder rate, which translates to mean approximately 80 fewer people killed than the almost 1,600 slain in 2008.
“So its business as usual for the other 1500 murders in 2009!” said the release “The people of Jamaica and the NDM are extremely dissatisfied with the seeming acceptance of that high number of murders. We expect the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of National Security to at least demonstrate a commitment instead to a massive reduction in crime and murders by 95 per cent of what it was in 2008.”
The release recalled that the NDM had in the past presented ways and means to achieve drastic reduction in crime and murders including a special occupational programme for the young people who are not meaningfully engaged in some activity; implementing a long proposed national identity system; re-branding the Jamaica Constabulary Force to Jamaica Police Service and immediately recruit tertiary educated individuals to fill an estimated 4,000 vacancies in the the Force.
The party, which has no representation in parliament, is also suggesting the merger of the police and the army; the creation of two separate police organizations one municipal and the other national, and for the involvement of the population at large “to become part of the crime solving strategy by recruiting all able individuals as volunteers to eye-ball known and suspected wrongdoers 24 hours per day by watching and reporting their every movement.”
MacMillan is a former colonel in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Lewin retired as rear admiral of the Coast Guard and chief of staff of the JDF.
Caption: Commissioner Lewin, PM Golding and Minister MacMillan 5th left at an event honouring murdered cops Dec 2007 to Nov 2008.