Letters to the Editor

It's time we stop playing politics with crime

Friday, April 13, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I wondered if I was seeing and hearing correctly in the Lower House of Parliament this Wednesday. Dr Angela Brown Burke basically said she's done with being patient. She said that in response to the attorney general and Member of Parliament of St James West Central Marlene Malahoo Forte, who reported success from the zone of special operations (ZOSO) and the state of emergency under way in St James.

Malahoo Forte was telling the Opposition to be patient as they were complaining about high crime in other areas and asked what the Government intended to do about those areas.

I remember before Dr Brown Burke became a Member of Parliament she was a councillor in rough, crime area. Both herself and then Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell were silent when that community was under siege. So, out of curiosity, what took so long for her to break her silence?

Just playing the old political game; when in Opposition make demands, when in Government commiserate.

Recall that in July of last year Rev Jeffrey Shuttleworth, pastor for the Tarrant Baptist Church, named 190 gangs in 12 parishes. No one needed a pastor to tell us that St Andrew, St James, St Catherine, Kingston, and Clarendon are infested with gangs.

When ZOSO was declared in Mount Salem, St James, members of the People's National Party ()PNP) said it was so designated because it was in a PNP area. Since then a ZOSO has been declared in Denham Town and a state of emergency across St James which should have destroyed that political narrative. So I'm very surprised that the PNP leader, Peter Phillips, is trying to paint the picture that it's only JLP areas that have been made safe. He can't have it both ways.

Finally, I hear that the spokesperson on national security, Fitz Jackson, wants to know the cost of the enhanced measures and ZOSO. My question to him is: If he hears that the cost of these measures to make us safe is high, is he going to make a big deal out of that?

It's times we stop playing politics with crime.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann





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