Fighting Crime – The Way Forward

jamaica-military-in-montego-bay-jamaica Members of the JDF - Source: News Americas Now

“One love, one heart,
Let’s get together and feel alright”

From the country that the “no problem, mon” motto has sprouted from, seems to alight frequent and senseless crimes, especially murders. The most recent news gripping the hearts of the Jamaican people was the traumatising killing of Kemisha Wright and her four children in Clarendon. The questions that are now on the tongues of every citizen appear to be, “When will it stop?”, “When will the government orchestrate a feasible crime plan?” and “When will hanging return?” However, we must pause to release that the problem with crime in the Jamaican society is everyone’s prerogative. The solution to the crime problem rests within our homes, schools, and communities.

It is said that “the home is where the heart is” and “there’s no place like home.” Indeed, a child spends the first years of his/her life at home where the first stage of socialisation is said to take place. A child is a product of their home as it is easy to tell what happens at home in interactions with children, as they tend to be less filtered about sharing the undiluted facts. This then behoves us to make a conscious effort in raising the children in the homes, not to expose them to harmful content or praise negative behaviours when they are performed. Children, once they reach a stage of understanding, should be involved in the tenets of life and be taught to make a positive contribution to society. When the lyrical content of the music at a two-year-old’s birthday party can be promoting drug abuse, crime, and illicit sexual activities, it is rather inevitable that such a child will grow up neglecting these ideas. When violence becomes a child’s preferred mode of conflict resolution then the problem is now seen outside of the home setting.

Another key component in the upbringing of a child is his/her involvement in the school system. The classroom is a culmination of various ideologies which were developed from the different homes. There now arises a battle of belief systems which continues throughout the stages of education. When negativity and corruption gain societal acclaim, children who have been subscribed to this philosophy from the home, will showcase this behaviour and the element of peer pressure will promote these undesirable behaviours. The teachers are now responsible to ensure that they not only teach from the book but from the heart and help to instil good moral principles. This element too is under attack since some teachers have accepted the popular notion of individuality, where they are no longer concerning with others but themselves. Although one may detest the argument, it is understandable for this reaction since the children have a stronger home base and are unapologetic in attacking those who should be respected, including teachers. As much as the school is responsible, the spotlight is still on the home’s responsibility.

Lastly, one must consider the famous African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child”. The moment that uninterest reigns in a community regarding the wellbeing of the neighbour’s child, is the moment where breakdown of morale is actualised. The similar aforementioned ethos of individuality has also overcome the community as the homes have now become for themselves. The evils of covetousness and malevolence have plagued the communities which welcomed this, “me, myself and I” mindset. Senseless killings arise because one family could afford it while another could not. One individual felt ‘dissed’ and would ‘tek no violation’ which results in the loss of a life. The groups on the street corners no longer believe in earning an honest wage because they focus on those who ‘made it’ whether legally or illegally. This leads to profiling of communities which affects individuals physically, socially, and professionally. This calls the attention of politicians who will try to buy the favour of the people only to get a chance on the day of elections. This is essentially a breakdown of the community. This leads back to home.

Conclusively, the times have gotten more dangerous, and peace seems to run away from our shores. The call for justice seems to go silent among the horns of corruption and bigotry, while our country continues to bleed. How do we make it right? How do I make it right? It starts in the homes, because better homes make better communities, better schools, better institutions – a better Jamaica.

Source: Alethia Campbell

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