Address Issues Affecting Society Urges Police Commissioner


Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has cited the need for several areas in the society to be effectively addressed if Jamaica is to achieve a sustained long-term reduction in crime.
These areas relate to politics, business/commercial interests, socio-economic/cultural affairs, civil society, and law enforcement.
Speaking at the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s (JEF) Chief Executive Officer breakfast at the Hilton Kingston Hotel today (March 11), Rear Admiral Lewin attributed the level of crime and violence currently gripping the nation to failed attempts to “treat symptoms and not the root causes”.
“I think there are a number of dimensions that fed into causing this problem over many decades, (and) there is no one grouping to be blamed. These are the political, business/commercial, socio-economic/socio-cultural, civil society, and law enforcement dimensions, all feeding in to cause these problems,” he outlined.
Politics, the Commissioner noted, speaks to the need for governance of issues in the national interest, such as the economy. Regarding business and commerce, Rear Admiral Lewin said the extent to which efforts are being made to bridge the gap between the upper and lower income groups are to be applauded, but noted however, that “much more needs to be done.”
“We have to accept that the fortunes of those uptown are inextricably linked to the fortunes of those downtown and so, to the extent that people (downtown) can gain employment and are not stigmatized because of where they live, that helps to bridge that gap, which is far too wide,” the Commissioner stated.
Regarding the socio-economic/cultural element, Rear Admiral Lewin said this speaks to the need for issues pertaining to parenting, problems in schools, and the overall erosion of values and attitudes being fundamentally addressed.
To this end, he called on civil society to become more proactively involved in effecting meaningful changes. He noted that many persons are quick to shy away from accepting responsibility for the moral erosion, which has occurred over the years.
“Civil society, in my view, fell asleep during those several decades and over a sustained period, the standards that we have set, we lowered them lower and lower and lower (than) our level of acceptance of those standards. It’s not the time for finger pointing and blame games. The fact is we’ve got to accept it and move on from there,” he said.
Regarding law enforcement, Rear Admiral Lewin underscored the need to “fix the police (force)”, noting that the problems that the country faces cannot be resolved without a force that is “relatively corrupt-free, professional, and citizen-focussed.”
“So, the police force, as one of the five dimensions, has a critical role to play in the fixing of the many ills of this country but it is not just a policing problem. All (of) the other partners that support the other dimensions have a critical role to play and it means that everything must happen simultaneously in order to fix it,” Rear Admiral Lewin underscored.

JIS Social