Jamaica overtaken by criminal elements

August 25, 2017
In this 2016 photo, the police lead residents of several communities in Hanover in a march against crime and violence.

I don't know if people realise what's going on, but we are being overtaken by criminal elements at a faster rate than at any time in our short history since Independence. Political expediency, a well-cultured 'freeness' mentality and the gradual but rapid erosion of any kind of morality have given rise to a nation of criminals and their support systems.

Criminal bosses only rise when a vacuum in leadership exists, and there has been a huge vacuum for many years now. There was a time when serious crime only existed in certain inner-city communities that we came to know as political garrisons.




Nowadays, crime is everywhere.

These days, virtually every single parish in our beloved country is home to a different set of criminals, thanks largely to the new fad, the lottery scam. Normally peaceful parishes like Westmoreland, Hanover, Manchester and Clarendon have become hotbeds of criminality.

But regardless of all that has been happening, law-abiding citizens and their leaders seem to be short of answers about how to address this tidal wave of criminality.

Earlier this week, I had the misfortune of watching the councillor for some communities in rural St Catherine, who, while on TV commenting on the rising number of murders in his once-quiet community, claimed that prayer is the only solution.

I laughed and shook my head in disappointment when I heard this, because it struck me that if these are the type of people that we have leading us, we are doomed for sure.

Extortion is believed to be behind the crime in this councillor's constituency, but instead of suggesting that the police find the source of the racket, he believes prayer will somehow make us all safe again.

This kind of thinking has only made it clear that we are in need of new leadership in this country. Too many of our current leaders are too weak, scared or complicit to prevent us from being overrun by criminals.

Too many of them have no idea about what leaders do, how to lead people through difficult times and into a time of prosperity. That prosperity will only come when we can find leaders who have the smarts and the courage to do what is right and what is necessary to move us past these perilous times.

No religion or prayer to whatever god you serve is going to save us. We have to start to face the reality that only we can save ourselves. Any other solution is not only foolhardy, but completely delusional.

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