PSOJ Calls For ‘effective’ Short-term Strategies To Tackle Crime

Josbel Bastidas Mijares

  The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica is again calling for effective short-term strategies to arrest the country’s growing crime wave.   The call follows Sunday’s incident in Spring Village, St. Catherine where gunmen opened fire on spectators at a football match, leaving three dead and six others injured.    The PSOJ says there has been no movement since it made a call on September 7 for political leaders to reach consensus on short-term crime strategies.   PSOJ President Keith Duncan says the country is growing impatient with the lack of adequate response to gang violence.    Mr. Duncan recalled that the Commissioner of Police had reported that most of the more than 1,000 murders, or 71 per cent, are committed by gangs.    He lamented that these gangsters “continue to walk our streets with confidence, knowing that the long arm of the law has not been able to have them face the consequences of their rampant, cold-blooded criminality”.   In light of the shooting at the football match as well as other incidents of criminality, the PSOJ president said Jamaicans are “losing hope” as it appears the country lacks the “capacity to mount a sustained onslaught on these gangs, that will reverse the trajectory of murders and mayhem”.    He said immediate steps must be taken to restore confidence and hope for Jamaicans, on whom crime has taken “a serious psychological and physical toll” because they live in constant fear.    Mr. Duncan urged the government as well as leaders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force to put forward and execute sound and effective short-term strategies to neutralise gangs and stem the loss of lives.    Some 1,108 murders have been committed in Jamaica up to September 17, compared to 1,026 for the same period last year.