Glorified guards can't do police work


Glorified guards can't do police work

BY Michael Khreuz

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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Criminal anthropology is key in understanding criminals and the thinking that's behind how and why crimes are committed.

The thinking that criminals were born with detectable innate inferior physiological differences is not conclusive, and is merely a theory at best. It simply cannot be conclusive owing to how complex the understanding of crime can be. Any thought otherwise is flawed and only seeks to inhibit any attempt at crime prevention.

One should never popularise or seek to polarise the notion of anyone being “born criminal”, and that criminality is a case of atavism or a hereditary disposition — nothing could be farther from the truth. In understanding criminals and the crimes they commit we must accept that it is not to be examined in a bubble.

One should not hold a central idea that one can locate crime completely within an individual, and then divorce it from his/her surrounding social and economic conditions and structures; to do so is a myopic approach to something that's limitless in its very being.

Crime prevention is psychological. I'm of the view that if we can create in the minds of a people that should an individual think to commit a crime that he/she is 99.9 per cent likely to being caught, successfully prosecuted, and duly punished, then we'd be 90 per cent close to addressing crime.

Fixing Jamaica's crime problem is not just about the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). In fact, it requires a multifaceted approach. The mind of a criminal in Jamaica tells him/her that he/she is 99.9 per cent unlikely to be caught; and if not caught, one can't be prosecuted, etc. That mindset speaks to the justice system, or lack thereof, that exists in Jamaica.

There's nothing psychological about the JCF, and that's not surprising; because the JCF was never designed to police a democratic, independent nation. An institution of “force” cannot police a democratic and independent nation. Nowhere in the world do you find a “human resource force” within a place of business; that's not how you manage people.

If the Jamaican authorities can begin to comprehend what I mean by that statement, then we're halfway to fixing the issue of crime in Jamaica.

The trouble is, however, that we've got to appreciate and accept the fact that the JCF needs to be disbanded.

The minister took some flak, but he is correct when he reasoned that the JCF [in its current form] is nothing more than a glorified guard force. A force birth out of the fertile ground of the Morant Bay Rebellion. A force birthed to use force to suppress a people who were, at the time, oppressed. A force whose constitution is older than the constitution of the democratic, independent nation that it's being tasked to police.

Sadly, with a thousand-plus murders along with other major crimes every year for little over a century, it's proven that one can't ask glorified guards to do police work.

Let the critics now shoot their arrows.

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