With the appointment of Police Commissioner Carl Williams who takes up duties today, he is no doubt aware that that there is no honeymoon period.
Since the National Security Minister announced last week that Williams would assume the post, the reactions have been positive for the most part, indicating that there is a great deal of faith in his abilities to reform the Jamaica Constabulary Force and drastically reduce crime.
Years of research have shown that Jamaicans consider the crime epidemic to be one of the country’s challenges. With that being said, expectations are high where the new commissioner is concerned.
In recent years, St. James has seen massive spikes in the murder rate. In fact, the Area One command of the JCF, ranks St. James as the hardest division to police, while indicating that the other divisions – Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland are a little less challenging.
St. James in particular, has recorded increases in gun related murders, followed by knives and other implements. Robberies continue to be on the rise. The recent murders of a 26 year-old netballer and of a taxi-operator, whom attackers were seeking to rob, have sent shock waves throughout the parish.
Commissioner Williams, who comes to the fore with a wealth of experience in crime fighting, has the arduous task of leading efforts towards the reduction of serious crimes in the St. James Police division and the wider Area One.
The new Commissioner, who was instrumental in leading the fight against corruption in the force, must also seek to continue that process in Area One. Earlier this year, several members of the force were nabbed on corruption charges.
The arguments about who is better at fighting crime and who has the better crime plan is not new, but really needs to take a back seat. The Government and the Opposition must collaborate on this matter of crime, which continues to have dire effects on the country’s economy. Crime affects every Jamaican and there must be a united approach towards reducing it.