Jamaica (Mckoy’s News) – Jamaica’s Crime Problem– The Influence of the Politicians and Police: It is common knowledge that Nigeria is the most corrupt Black Country, and the most corrupt former British territory.
Jamaica has now found itself in the same boat as Nigeria. Jamaica’s crime problem is exacerbated by the influence of politicians and a police force which has significant numbers of corrupt policemen.
Politicians have from the outset created crimes by default. The creation of Tivoli Gardens and Wilton Gardens, Tawes Pen, Central Village, Payne Avenue and Arnett Gardens were deliberate housing stock created to get loyalty from those who are residents. Loyalty was to be demonstrated by voluntary voting and coerced voting during general elections. Working in Spanish Town I have seen it for myself when thuggish activists behaved like town criers waking up decent folks to come out and vote and threatening them if they failed to mark their x for the politicians who have provided housing units although the mortgages went mostly unpaid.
The housing units of the garrisons aforementioned became the cradles for all anti-social behavior and criminal activities. They became bases by 1982 for major drug enterprises (and I do not mean marijuana), extortions from the business communities especially Downtown, Kingston and Spanish Town. Those who fought 1980 near civil war with guns provided by funds to politicians from Lobby groups and countries sympathetic to right wing and left wing politics fuelled the armories which later wreaked havoc in the 1990’s turf war for cocaine trade in the inner cities. How then can politicians convince Jamaicans they are innocent of the crimes being committed in Jamaica. There is an overriding relationship of politicians to many of the masses which Professor Carl Stone called “Clientelism”. Analysing Stone’s work translated to nothing more than “I support you, but I expect you to do everything to keep me in power”
One may ask, “why do politicians support criminality?”. The answer is simple and here one has to turn to his scriptuality, one has to understand human nature and stop being an agnostic or atheist. Man’s heart is evil, mankind is depraved. Politicians are not softer or milder examples of mankind in fact they are the opposite. In this regard, the trimmings of power is forever being relished by politicians and getting as much as possible that can be taken in their time of duty is a norm. They seek more income, more wealth, more real estate, more social and financial capital and they seek more connections with those who can materially benefit them and their families. Nothing has changed since independence. Politicians will therefore contribute to any act that contravene the law as long as it benefit them and therefore those involved in criminality that can allow continued power will be supported .
We have heard anectodes of ganja men being arrested, being caught red handed in shipment of marihuana abroad and MP’s coming to police station to bail them. We have heard of cocaine addicts shooting up upscale communities and telephone calls coming into the police station to the “Super” to lay hands off him. Some politicains are even lawyers using their legal skills and acumen to help those who reap havoc on our society. This is not comedy, just ask senior cops who man the streets in the 1980’s and 90’s and they will give you information you can write a book and they will mention politicians who tried to bribe them or prevent them for taking action. Why do you believe it took years to extradite some criminals- they were protected by politicians and were untouchable until the US authorities exert pressure?
One area of support of criminality is the business of public construction. Road works, road construction, school building are major areas of kickbacks for politicians. It is no different from mafia activities. Many contractors are politically associated. They get the contracts for public works and a percentage is given back to the Member of Parliament or Cabinet Minister. This is in fact nothing new to Jamaica as it is a feature of most societies in the developing world. It is there in Africa especially Nigeria and it pervades Asian and Pacific countries as well as Jamaica.
It is an illegal relationship and practice but it continues and when other parties are shut out of this beneficial relationship, occasionally blood is drawn. In 1972 Michael Manley first duty was to ask the authorities to search for missing funds under the previous Parliamentary Secretary earmarked for building primary schools in central Jamaica. The Parliamentary Secretary Arthur Williams Snr (now deceased) could not account for government funds that were to build a number of schools in central Jamaica. As usual nothing came out of the case, it became a nine day wonder. That is the extent of political criminality in our island. No politician is held accountable and those who are part of the web only benefits and the acts which violates our laws continues. At this time therefore, in our history, the situation will never get better. Only the saving grace of God can speak to our leaders heart and tell them to stop supporting activities and individuals who violates the nation’s laws.
Our island has a number of issues which continue to hamper development and I refer to the issue of squatting. People have lost their moral values with regards to the rights of others. Property rights have been breached by some of our citizens who believed that they have a right to “cling on private property ranks provide votes to keep them the politicians in power. In the early 2000’s Joe Witter who worked hard in Britain purchased acres of his lands near Montego Bay which were subsequently ‘captured” by hooligans. Instead of discouraging the practice, one politician supported buying the land ‘captured” land below market prices. The loss and fact that they (the squatters) nearly burnt down Witter’s buildings must have carried him early to his grave. The Mobay squatter’s situation is not unique as one major community near Keystone, St. Catherine is occupied by over 100 families who have no intention of leaving the owner’s land and who have built huge concrete structures on what does not belong to them.
Since the 1970’s our police force has seen political interference by the politicians of the day. As men without integrity and men who fear politician instead of serving the people, they have become a are solidly backed by a PNP Member of Parliament. But last year we heard of the Red Hills Road real estate in which a prominent JLP politician supported the same illegal occupation. Land owners in Jamaica have no rights as squatters supported by politicians for vote rule the roost.
The police motto makes a mockery of justice. Policemen have become agents for drug lords, extortionists, murderers and those bent on destroying the fabric of our society. Policemen in Jamaica have become agents to carry out politicians dirty work such as protecting ghetto enforcers, trafficking guns, and acting as political muscle. Criminals get their ammunition from some policemen and drug smugglers and traffickers have many policemen on their payroll. Nothing has changed from early post-independence. In the 1970’s some of the largest houses in upscale neighborhoods in Discovery Bay and Runaway Bay were owned by policemen. Policemen’s joy was to serve in communities in St.Ann. Statistics showed that in St.Ann at the rank and file, police were deeply involved in the ganja trade. They protected farmlands and the shipment and air cargo of ganja grown by small farmers in the hills of the Dry Harbour Mountains such as Murray Mountains, Aboukir Woods, McKenzie, Calderwood and Nine Miles.
Today, there is a presence of the police in the drug trade, extortion and even scamming activities. Police in Jamaica are notorious for protecting drug dons. Many police in the island are on drug dons payroll. It reminds me of the police in Chicago in the days of the notorious criminal and mafia figure Al Capone . They protect each other (called the squaddie effect) so it is a challenge to arrest them as policemen are protective of each other.
The police force has taken steps over the last few years to remove wrongdoers masquerading as police. It is not enough because only the extreme cases and those impinging on embarrassment are addressed while the majority of breaches and violation of the law are ignored.
Many of us have had experience where police intervenes in domestic issues and worst several men have lost their lives as police use their fire power rather than brains to resolve issues of on ship with women in which other men may be involved. By Maurice Christie
In the area of immigration fraud, in particular, that of the 80’s and 90’s there was rampant abuse of the immigration stamp as policemen in immigration uniform make themselves rich by back starelatimping those who overstayed their times in the USA.
An entire book could be written on the involvement in crime of the political class and those who are trained to protect and serve. Unfortunately, our country is sinking deeper in crimes not just directly by criminals but by the part played by corrupt policemen and politicians who are untouchable.
by Maurice Christie