Sun | Jun 16, 2024

Strong action needed to tackle crime

Published:Monday | March 27, 2023 | 12:10 AM


The heists of multiple automated teller machines (ATMs) and millions of dollars being stolen by criminals have been the daily headlines in ‘irieman’. The numerous successful and brazen attacks on security companies and ATMs have instilled fear in law-abiding citizens and caused inconvenience to them with some ATMs removed. Criminals have been showing that they are heavily armed, fearless and willing to take the fight to the State. They show their brazenness by turning up in broad daylight, putting on a show for the cameras.

With all the criminal activities happening in recent times, the silence of the authorities is deafening. The questions are asked, will the attention of the Government be refocused on crime after the Budget Debate? Or has the public-sector compensation review distracted the Government from fighting crime?

It seems that the authorities are reactively playing catch-up, or they have gotten a ‘swollen head’ by the reported reduction in crime since the beginning of the year. Slowly, reactive complacency has been eroding the gains achieved in crime-fighting to include lotto scamming, reprisal shootings, and the newest member of the cast, ‘money heist’.

The mayor of Portmore, Leon Thomas, called for the business interest in the municipal to assist with adding cameras to key areas. While this is a good move, many of the latest incidence of violence have been captured on camera, but what will it achieve? There are so many screws that need to be tightened in our crime-fighting efforts. This is evident with over half of the gang members being freed in the present gang trial. It is evident that even with JamaicaEye, criminals are even killing police, soldiers and security guards and are still at large. Gone are the days when tough-taking crime-fighters would drive fear into thugs.

The recent announcement by our prime minister about sending our security forces to assist in Haiti’s crime-fighting seems to be little overly ambitious. Jamaica has been overrun by criminals, so much so that states of emergencies have been imposed in over six parishes at once. This has left no extras police or soldier to help Haiti; not that we wouldn’t want to, but Spanish Town, Portmore, Maxfield, South Side and so many more communities in Jamaica are under siege.

We call on the Government to get a hold of the crime situation and not let it go out of hands, before we become another Haiti.