New commissioner, same old issues

April 13, 2017
Commissioner-designate George Quallo

So now we have a new commissioner of police who has promised to bring crime under control. Where, or more appropriately, when have we heard this before?

Now, don't get me wrong. I wish Commissioner George Quallo the very best in his job as the newly appointed Commissioner of Police, but I have always believed that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result each time, is madness.

Regardless of who the police commissioner is, if the authorities do not address the root causes of crime, 100 commissioners or ministers of national security, won't be able to stop the growing tide of lawlessness that pervades our communities.




It is against that background that I am calling for them to commit a comprehensive change in how they approach tackling the problem of crime in this country. If they don't then Commissioner Quallo, like those before him, will fail.

"You cannot fix anything in Jamaica until you have fixed crime," Dr Constant Lonkeng Ngouana told attendees at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce Business Awards recently.

That comment needs to be taken seriously. In case we have not realised it, Jamaica remains one of the most violent countries in the world. Our murder rate is one of the highest in the world. And no one is immune.

Now that relatively successful efforts have been made to get our economy back on track, the time has come to start putting the measures in place that will enable the creation of new businesses that will generate produce for export and jobs for the many who remain unemployed or underemployed.

However, that won't happen unless the criminals are brought to heel.

Many minor cases in court need to be thrown out to make room for more serious offences to be dealt with. The corruption that is entrenched within the halls of justice and the police need to be rooted out.

Social programmes need to be introduced so as to alleviate some of the economic pressures that force some people into criminal activities and parents need to be held responsible for raising their children in such a manner that they become assets to the country, not liabilities.

That is the only way Commissioner Quallo or his subsequent successors are going to succeed.

What is happening now is like putting a Band-Aid on a gangrenous sore on your leg. If the problem is not addressed from within, we will also lose that limb that makes the path to prosperity so much harder to navigate.

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