Former police chief comments on crime in Jamaica

Police Chief Andrew Smalling - Caribbean National Weekly News
Photo Courtesy of Sunshine Economic

With the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, just days away some Jamaicans living in South Florida want the troubling issue of crime to be included on the conference agenda.

The conference is scheduled for July 23-26 at the Jamaica conference center in Kingston.

Former Police Chief for the Cities of Lauderdale Lakes and Lauderhill, Andrew Smalling, says the authorities in Jamaica need to find solutions to corral the crime monster. This is an issue, he said, that was brought up at past Diaspora conferences, but the problem prevails.

Consulted with Jamaica on crime

Smalling, 55, was born in Jones Town, Jamaica, was also a consultant to Jamaica law enforcement. In 2004 he played an integral role in the creation of the Safe Schools Program. “Crime and violence have been an issue among Jamaicans at home and abroad for years. Despite the efforts of the government and the law enforcement authorities, the problems continue. It doesn’t seem anyone has a handle on it.”

Over 700 murders have been committed in Jamaica this year. In June, some 151 murders were tallied on police blotters.

Comprehensive approach needed

“Crime needs a comprehensive approach,” Smalling said.” Educational, sociological and political. It needs more than politicians giving mouth service. They need to get down and do some work. When suggestions are made from the Diaspora it’s a matter of how it’s received. The reply is usually that the suggestions are great but there are no resources to implement them.”

Crime a deterrent to return to Jamaica

The troubling crime news out of Jamaica has people living in the Diaspora apprehensive about traveling home.

Fortunately, Police statistics revealed visitors to the island make up a minute percentage of murder victims. Visitors who fall prey to criminals usually are themselves involved in nefarious activities or venture on the wrong side of town.

“You have to be vigilant. I go to Jamaica all the time and I am not scared. I don’t go to certain areas that I know are garrison communities. There are places in South Florida you also should be careful about going whether you are a visitor or you even live here,” Smalling said.

Gang feuds and domestic violence, in urban and rural Jamaica, are reported by Jamaican police to be the prevalent cause of murders.

Copyright 2017 – Caribbean National Weekly News

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