KINGSTON, January 12, 2016 - Head of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Terrence Williams, says failure to seriously tackle organised criminal gangs in western Jamaica has led to the country recording annual murder statistics of more than one thousand since the year 2000.
Speaking on Thursday night at a Kiwanis Club of Spanish Town meeting, Williams said if solutions to the murder problem are to be found, they would have to be sought after 2010 when there was a significant reduction in the statistics.
Williams noted that Jamaica has returned to consistently high murder figures because there was no follow through with the measures necessary to solve the problem.
"The needed follow-through was to get to the root of organised criminal gangs and to fully insititute community policing. It wasn't to create a new police unit because in the period where murders increased over the thousand mark, these tough policing groups were working... so why do we think returning to that will solve the problem?" Mr. Williams reasoned.
According to the INDECOM boss, Jamaica can learn from the model adopted in Nicaragua which has been used to bring down its murder rate to seven per 1000 people since 2015.
"Nicaragua engaged in significant police reform to root out corruption... They adopted a model of policing which was preventative and proactive, rooted in the community. They had strong intelligence networks targeting organised crime groups," he explained.
Mr. Williams argued that repressive policing, or "badman policing" in the Jamaican context, will only achieve short-term results.
A total of 1,616 people were murdered in Jamaica last year.
- Countries: Jamaica