Jamaica Gleaner / WESTERN BUREAU:
Dr Asburn Pinnock, president of The Mico University College, said lottery scammers should be recruited into using their skills to market Jamaica, instead of using their obvious persuasive abilities to commit criminal acts.
Pinnock made the suggestion while addressing the second phase of The Mico University College’s discussion series on using education to combat crime and violence at the Montego Bay Community College in St James on Wednesday. The theme was ‘Education: The Antidote for Crime and Violence?’
“Lottery scammers have the persuasion skill to scam foreigners, so let them use the same skill to sell Jamaica. Such an alternative would prove to be more attractive than scamming, which comes with the risk of violence and criminal activities,” argued Pinnock.
“We need to pull potential scammers away from illegal activities and employ them as vacation telemarketers, where, for instance, we offer them pay plus commission for each vacation package sold. If they have the skills to convince people to send their hard-earned money here to Jamaica, they will have the skill to convince them to spend a vacation here in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and they get paid for it.”
The Mico University College president also noted that crime-fighting must begin with a change in values and attitudes.
“Crime affects all of us here in Jamaica, and crime prevention is a culture-change and value-change process, which includes instilling of positive values that will channel our young and impressionable minds in a positive direction,” said Pinnock.
The Mico University College’s ongoing discussion series is focused around a variety of national issues, including crime and violence. Jamaica has recorded more than 1,300 murders since January, with St James having the country’s highest murder tally – 256.