We are delusional if we pretend not to see that if we improve our economic situation we could effectively cure some of our social ailments, primarily crime. It is compounding when even the ones who are supposed to be upholding law become desperate and yield to criminality to subsist their lifestyle.
Why are people surprised when members of the JCF commit crimes?
I have often maintained that police officers are young men too. They are cut from the same cloth as the criminals. They grew up in the same culture and hence face similar challenges. Whether or not they succumb to these temptations is contingent on the individual values of the said cop.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force is not the only arm faced by corruption and contains unscrupulous individuals within its ranks. We see it everywhere. We have ill-mannered customer service agents, inept doctors, crafty lawyers and corrupt politicians.
Every field or arm of government, business, profession has their shady characters and in truth there is hardly anything we can do about these people besides having them expelled as soon as their corruption is discovered.
When we employ people they tend to put their best face forward. This does not excuse the recent involvement of police officers in criminal activities. It merely points to the fact that our crime situation has deeper roots and cannot be solved by simply arming one set of young men against another.
Support groups have called for a raise of pay to help police officers take care of their families. If they received better wages and higher fringe benefits then probably they would be less inclined to go ‘rogue’.
Would a higher salary solve the financial problems of the Police Officers?
Some would say no. Today’s young people are getting into professions wherein, they can hustle on the side. I was once told that ‘if me see it look like me ago suffer, me fe join the police force”. Many see the JCF as a medium of making extra money by cashing in on the spoils of criminal activities, overlooking unlawful behaviour through bribery and acquitting villains who cannot afford to buy their way out of prison.
It might sound perfidious but survival has always come first in an individual’s mind in the grand scheme of things. The desire to put food on the table and to live a comfortable life will cause even the most scrupled individual to consider throwing in the towel, come what may…
In conclusion our nation needs help. If we don’t solve the socio-economic problems we are facing then soon we will have anarchy.