Crime is a universal phenomenon. In some countries it has been brought to a manageable level while in others it has reached epic proportions.Crime is a problem in Jamaica, and the strategies used to tackle it have become a contentious issue.
Whereas I believe that the Jamaican police should undergo more training in crime fighting, I make bold to say that the police officers alone cannot “defeat” crime. Crime is everybody's concern. It is my view that the problem of crime in Jamaica can be solved, to a considerable extent, through what I call the three Cs, that is, crushing criminogenic elements, Christian crusade and community spirit. Criminogenic elements are those situations that engender or cause crime; for example, unemployment, poverty, high cost of living, etc. If the government, the private sector and international nongovernmental bodies address the aforementioned issues, especially in inner cities, crime will witness a reduction.
Besides, the church which is the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” can play a vital role in the fight against crime by preaching righteousness unceasingly. This way, Christian values, which change lives, can be instilled in individuals. Ultimately, the crime level will be reduced. Also, by fervently praying for people and providing food, clothing and shelter, the church may change some lives from criminality to decency.
Our society has become so fragmented that children are no longer seen as the products of the community. Many young males in Jamaica are from dysfunctional families with absentee fathers. This situation can cause them to portray criminal behaviour. Therefore, we need a Jamaica in which there is fellow-feeling, and a philosophy of being “my brother's keeper”; where crime is communally detested and dealt with within the ambit of the law; a place where somebody else's children are treated by me as if they were my very own; a place where discipline can be “collectively” enforced.
Finally, it is important that we desist from playing the blame game and get seriously into the business of fighting crime.