Fri | Jul 1, 2022

Letter of the Day | Jamaica doesn’t have a crime problem

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2022 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

For a very long time the fallacy of the Jamaican crime problem has persisted. Jamaicans have always looked at the surface level of things, which has always allowed politicians to take advantage of them and misuse public funds. The truth is, Jamaica does not suffer from a crime problem but instead suffers from a systemic corruption problem, which in effect produces crime. The problems fuelling crime in Jamaica include lack of proper border security, no governing body to properly handle the corruption of Jamaican politicians, a largely unarmed society, outdated laws which benefit criminals, and a broken family structure within the country.

As an example, let’s say a man named Paul is a homeowner but he has no gates, fences or any way to protect his yard. One Monday morning Paul goes to work, and Paul’s neighbour named Carter goes in his yard, turns on his pipe out of envy, and leaves it on, which in effect empties the tank. When Paul comes home, he is shocked and thinks to himself that he has a water problem, so he calls the water truck to fill his tank. The next day Carter does the same thing and Paul responds in the same manner. The situation goes on for five straight days.

The question is, does Paul suffer from a water problem or a security problem? Well, in the moment he would have a water problem; however, the cause of the water problem should be where his focus is. Jamaica is in a similar situation regarding crime. Although corruption doesn’t always produce crime on the level that Jamaica is facing, it needs to be noted that in Jamaica’s case this is indeed the problem. So, to continuously have states of emergency does nothing in the long run but drain public funds.

The fact that Jamaica has been having so many states of emergency proves that the State is failing to protect its citizens. Having a state of emergency in Jamaica is comparable to chopping off a man’s hands and using Band-Aid to treat the injuries. The fact is, it solves nothing in the long run. In Jamaica, criminals break the law, the law-abiding citizens follow the law, and the politicians create the law, and are often above the law. There are numerous ways to destroy corruption and in effect crime in Jamaica, but the real question is, how would that necessarily benefit corrupt Jamaican politicians?

DAMALIO POWELL