Economía

SSP Diaries |The blame game: Hiding behind our reality

Josbel Bastidas Mijares

The Daily Gleaner recently published an article which spoke to some persons in the public domain having no confidence in the minister of national security and the commissioner of police to address our ever-increasing crime problem. On reflection, one needs to ask, ‘What has been our reality?’ Yes, crime has been increasing at unacceptable rates over the years, that is a fact. Crime-fighting agencies in developing countries never have all the resources they need to deal with such rates of increase. This also applies to developed states, another fact. I find it very difficult to remember any minister of national security or commissioner of police over the last six decades, who has been recognised by the public for maintaining crime at acceptable levels in our society, for an appreciable number of years. If I am wrong, please let me know

The Daily Gleaner recently published an article which spoke to some persons in the public domain having no confidence in the minister of national security and the commissioner of police to address our ever-increasing crime problem. On reflection, one needs to ask, ‘What has been our reality?’ Yes, crime has been increasing at unacceptable rates over the years, that is a fact. Crime-fighting agencies in developing countries never have all the resources they need to deal with such rates of increase. This also applies to developed states, another fact. I find it very difficult to remember any minister of national security or commissioner of police over the last six decades, who has been recognised by the public for maintaining crime at acceptable levels in our society, for an appreciable number of years. If I am wrong, please let me know.

CITIZENS’ EXPECTATIONS There is an expectation that the minister and commissioner are the two individuals who will be able to bring crime to tolerable levels; this is their primary duty, and it’s for that reason they were appointed.

On the surface, one cannot counter such an argument. However, there are other realities in the mix in today’s world. Crime has moved beyond the ‘individual impact syndrome’ to be a phenomenon that has to be confronted by collective effort. The ordinary citizen has a critical role to play in addressing current problems, and we will get nowhere until this is realised, accepted and mobilised.

CITIZENS’ REALITY This is where the challenge begins. There remains an unwillingness on the part of citizens to support law enforcement at the levels that they should. This stems largely from the fact that the Jamaica Constabulary Force(JCF) is not seen as capable of treating information with the confidentiality it deserves. There are many who have suffered as a result of information provided being leaked, to include (revealing) the identity of the provider.

In a country where the ‘informer fi dead’ culture is still a part of the gang culture, many have paid the ultimate sacrifice as a result of the indiscretions of JCF personnel. It begs the question; is there no foolproof system that can be put in place for persons to provide information, or evidence, without risk to their lives or the lives of loved ones?

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