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Vigilante justice

A STORY IN yesterday's STAR spoke of the attempted robbery of a businessman in St. Ann on Saturday night.

According to the story, three men went to the businessman's home and robbed him of money and $65,000 worth of jewellery. The businessman escaped. However the alleged thieves were not so fortunate and were hunted down by residents and beaten.

However, when the police rescued the men and took them to the station, the residents stoned the station and demanded that the men be released to them for them to exact their own justice.

This just proves the strength of vigilante justice in Jamaica. Frequently we hear that residents, particularly in rural Jamaica, are hunting thieves and beating them or chopping them to death.

Residents seem to have little faith in the police and prefer to take matters into their own hands.

The police force definately needs to regain the trust of the people. Residents need to know that if a crime is committed and they catch the criminals or those allegedly responsible and hand them over to the police, the matter will be dealt with fairly and speedily by the officers.

The residents also need to trust the legal system to sentence the alleged criminals to a term in prison equal to the magnitude of their crimes. Justice in Jamaica is everybody's business and persons at each rung of the system need to know they can trust each other to execute their duties fairly.

September 27, 2005

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