It is rather sad and disappointing that as a society the Jamaican state is not united on any national issue. Successive governments over the years have failed the people miserably in providing adequate security and protection for its citizens. Regardless of the political party one supports, the effect and impact of crime is the same on all of us. Crime has a crippling effect on the psyche of a people and nation. In fact, crime and violence if not brought under control quickly will contribute greatly to the demise of this nation. Our economic success is intricately hinged on us having a manageable level of crime and violence.
Recently, we were shocked out of our wits upon hearing that
there were seven murders in St. James over a 24 hours period. On average the
Jamaican state has over 1, 000 murders yearly. For the period 2009 and 2014 more than 7,000
Jamaicans were murdered. This is unacceptable and a consensus involving both
the government and the Opposition is required.
A wider consultative approach is also needed involving civil society to
include the Church, trade unions, dancehall and reggae artiste etc.
Women, children and men are being murdered in the killing
frenzy now stalking the land. Health centres have had to be closed due to
on-going violence in some areas. Economic, social and religious activities are
being severely impacted and people are afraid, very afraid.
It appears that there is an association between male
underachievement and crime. Too many of our boys continue to fall through the
cracks of the education system. With no skills, or no or few subjects, many of
our young men are drawn into a life of crime. It cannot be a coincidence that
most victims and perpetrators of crime and violence are males, given that Jamaica’s
population is roughly balanced regarding male and females.
Regardless of the root cause for Jamaica’s frightening murder
rate one thing is certain much more needs to be done to curb and decrease the
runaway murder rate. The current measures in places are not a deterrent to stop
these murders. We are a divided nation and the prospects for us are not
encouraging if we continue along the same path.