October 29, 2009
Star News



Dancehall music linked to gang violence

Among a number of issues, dancehall music is a contributing factor to gang violence in Jamaica, the police say.

Head of Operations for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Deputy Commissioner Owen Ellington, expressed the idea yesterday during a presentation to the media centred around gangs and organised crime.

Lyrics which glorify the use of illegal guns, "anti-informer songs and songs supporting violent behaviour are said to be influencing crime situation in Jamaica.

drive-by dance

"They even have a dance called drive-by which is named after the act ...," said DCP Ellington as he supported his claims.

The police believe violent lyrics help in promoting a lifestyle which in return encourages the 'don' concept, a major issue for the police in their fight against crime.

Only the security forces can properly protect a community from crime and violence, this the police say needs to be cemented in the minds of citizens who continue to protect and put their confidence in dons.

Simple things such as sending kids to back-to-school treats, help to support these individuals, DCP Ellington said.

"I worry everytime I see parents dressing up their little kids and sending them to a treat put on by the don ... Daddy goes to work everyday and can't put on a treat but the don who sits on the corner everyday can do it ... Where did he get the money?" DCP Ellington questioned.

high murders

Between 1999 and September of this year, there were 13,751 recorded murders in Jamaica. Over the same period, the police seized 6,213 illegal weapons along with 155,000 rounds of ammunition.

According to the police, in other countries statistics such as these would have put a major dent in the operations of criminal gangs and their operations. Nevertheless, they continue to be a threat to security both on the community and national levels.

Asked if the fight against crime can be won, DCP Ellington said, "Our hands are not tied, it can happen."

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