Kudos Dr Carl on the reduction thus far in murders, and long may it continue, though one feels we have been here before. We have had ‘declines’ in the murder rate to the point that we pray for a rate of about 600, that won’t happen without some serious introspection by the JCF.
The problem isn’t only the police, but they could be doing better. Take for example witness protection, it is no shock to us that in Jamaica witness and informants are deemed as bad and ‘fi dead’. Why then do the police not push for more money and resources for the protection program? Instead of complaining about lack of funds they should be insisting, nay demanding more resources or threaten industrial action.
Underfunding however is not the only issue, the clear up rate for all crimes in general is atrocious and that can only be put down to training. What goes on in training school where an officer fails to follow up on leads? Or can’t process evidence properly? Or even coerce a witness because you have reached a dead end?
We need better training for our cops short and simple. With better training they can learn to compose themselves in public, how to think on there feet and how to engage the community so that they no longer fear police.
The government has also been found wanting, having only recently dealing with DNA and pleas. These need to be done to aide the force as they seek to tackle crime. Legislation and funding are key if we are to tackle crime.
Finally and most importantly is community policing. Almost half our murders result from domestic disputes, boyfriends killing lovers or a quarrel at the bar. Until we better police our communities and have better dispute resolution instilled in us we will forever be haunted by the specter of violence.
Please Dr Carl, keep up the good work but don’t rest on your laurels. Push for more legislation, root out the corrupt cops and get the guns, but remember until cops are trained better nothing will be resolved.