Crime hurt­ing Ja­maica – JDF chief

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer ja­son.cross@glean­erjm.com

CHIEF OF de­fence staff of the Ja­maica De­fence Force, Ma­jor Gen­eral Antony An­der­son, has said the vi­cious cy­cle of crime in Ja­maica is a di­rect re­sult of per­sons seek­ing re­venge.

An­der­son was speak­ing at a lec­ture, which is the first in a se­ries themed ‘Pub­lic Safety and Jus­tice in Ja­maica’, held last Wed­nes­day on the grounds of the Univer­sity of the West Indies, spon­sored by Ja­maica Na­tional Build­ing So­ci­ety and or­gan­ised by the In­sti­tute of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice and Se­cu­rity.

An­der­son said 1,200 per­sons are mur­dered on aver­age an­nu­ally. Added to that, he said ap­prox­i­mately the same num­ber of per­sons are “shot but don’t die”. He noted that some­times fam­ily mem­bers will aim to seek re­venge.

“The five peo­ple who are as­so­ci­ated with each one of th­ese (1,200 killed and 1,200 shot and wounded), there are, if cal­cu­lated, 10,000 to 12,000 peo­ple a year who are af­fected. What hap­pens in real life to those per­sons who are af­fected be­cause they are pow­er­less to do any­thing about it? They will seek power, and how do they do that? They go to­wards an or­gan­i­sa­tion that they see that looks pow­er­ful, a gang, or they join the mil­i­tary or the po­lice force to em­power them­selves to con­tinue the cy­cle of vi­o­lence,” he stressed.

AN­DER­SON

The fact, An­der­son said, is that vi­o­lence will cre­ate more vi­o­lence un­less the pain and hurt of af­fected per­sons are given proper at­ten­tion.

“The re­al­ity is that pre­ced­ing vi­o­lence will al­ways cre­ate more vi­o­lence. If there are 10,000 peo­ple, if their trauma is not dealt with, and is not recog­nised, how do they heal? That’s what we need to get at,” the JDF chief said.

THE CURE

An­der­son was adamant that the crime sit­u­a­tion can only be cleared up with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of all.

“You can only do it with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of ev­ery wellmean­ing cit­i­zen,” he told The Gleaner fol­low­ing the lec­ture.

He hinted dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion that the so­ci­ety has failed in its ef­forts to help curb the acts of crim­i­nals.

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