Missing dads influencing crime - Clarendon custos highlights issues affecting the parish

April 17, 2019
William Shagoury
William Shagoury

Custos of Clarendon William Shagoury says the growing crime problem in the parish has been influenced by multiple factors which makes any solution complex.

Shagoury told the CENTRAL STAR that wayward youth, the proliferation of gangs, and absence of fathers from families are the factors fuelling crime.

"The problem is that there are a lot of gangs, young people who do not know what they want in life, and absence of good father figures," he said.

He pointed out to our news team that though the murder figures in 2019 are a cause for concern, they are less than the corresponding period in 2018.

Shagoury says justice is hard when you have an absence of witnesses.

He said: "Nobody comes to court. Even in witness protection, if they can't kill you, they kill your family."

Shagoury also says he has recommended that some of the schools be changed to trade schools because not everyone is academically inclined.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said that the Government has not given up on the use of the declaration of a state of public emergency (SOE) as a tool to fight crime.

Normal policing

"We have a homicide rate of 47 per 100,000 of the population. That is a national crisis, way beyond the capacity of normal policing," Chang said.

Some 359 persons were reported murdered in Jamaica between January 1 and April 6. The central parishes of St Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon have accounted for 53 of those murders.

Clarendon leads the way with 36, followed by Manchester with 10, and St Elizabeth, seven.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that Jamaica's crime problem is chronic.

"We're not having a crime problem within the context of a normal operating society, as it would be said in a free and democratic society. What we are having is a crime problem that has overtaken the institutions of the society. This is an abnormal situation, it is a situation where the gangs have become so entrenched, that the culture that supports them, there is an ecosystem that provides the weapons, provides the hiding, provides the transportation, launders the money. So the question is, how does a State treat with that? The truth is that regular policing is not at the capacity to address a situation like this," Holness said.

Chang said that the current situation requires special measures.

"It is well established that investments in security have had lag time of three to four years. We are convinced that the investments that we are now making in our security architecture, will take some time but we will succeed. For this reason, we must continue suppressive measures in order to save Jamaican lives as we reap the benefits of our investments to restore normalcy and peace. We must separate the killers from communities. We must disrupt the gangs," Chang said.

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