I weep with the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the wake of the most brutal murder of two of our fellow Jamaicans who are sworn to serve, protect and reassure and were actively doing so at the time of their death at the hands of heartless scoundrels.

Sir the responses are the same for decades from the commissioners, police federation chairmen, ministers and other governmental officials “we will stop at nothing to get the culprits” or “the government must do something now”, to “hang the murderers”.

I say yes to all of these things but have they captured many culprits in the past, does the government even know what to do or how many murderers have been caught? Jamaica is not only in the top three of the most murderous countries on planet earth but a murderous criminals’ paradise where you have a greater than 60 per cent chance of getting away with any crime including murder.

As far back as the 1970s Michael Manley pointed out that “freedom is a myth without security”. The democracy and freedom as we know it has been constantly under threat from criminals ever since and has not shown any appreciable sustained decline.

The situation is critical as in any decent freedom loving society in the world continued barefaced attacks on the citizenry and on those sworn to protect it cannot be tolerated.

Sir the crime situation in our country has long passed mere crime it is now infested with a criminal terrorist subculture that is going main stream. Listen to some of our parsons, some deejays, teachers, politicians, university professors some of whom even go the extra mile to give intellectual legitimacy to vulgarity and the reinforcement of violence and other criminal behaviour.

The whole society has to take a stance against criminality but the first thing that is needed is a clearly understood sociological definition of crime as “any behaviour that attracts a fine or imprisonment”. With this definition we could realise that the problem could be that we are all criminals that have conspired wittingly or unwittingly to create a murderous criminals’ paradise that only we can change.

Our crime problem need deeper sociological study so that the root causes can be found as it is obvious to all that you can never kill the crime tree by picking off the leaves and cutting off a few branches. We have to get to the root causes scientifically, quickly and objectively, if it turns out that the garrison phenomenon is among them let us develop the socio-political will to deal with it decisively and allow national security to triumph over politics.

We need to find out once and for all what is it in our society that turns an innocent infant into a monstrous killing machine even before the age of 20. In the interim give the police the resources including rapid response helicopters for every parish. Maybe this tool could have either helped to save the policemen’s lives or aid the tracking down and capture of the killers in real time. Now they could be in any other parish, another country or right here following the news like everyone else.

Michael Spence
P.O Box 630
Liguanea, Kingston 6

Categories: Letters

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