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Crime hurting Jamaica – JDF chief

Jamaica Gleaner / Chief of defence staff of the Jamaica Defence Force, Major General Antony Anderson, has said the vicious cycle of crime in Jamaica is a direct result of persons seeking revenge.

Anderson was speaking at a lecture, which is the first in a series themed ‘Public Safety and Justice in Jamaica’, held last Wednesday on the grounds of the University of the West Indies, sponsored by Jamaica National Building Society and organised by the Institute of Criminal Justice and Security.

Anderson said 1,200 persons are murdered on average annually. Added to that, he said approximately the same number of persons are “shot but don’t die”. He noted that sometimes family members will aim to seek revenge.

“The five people who are associated with each one of these (1,200 killed and 1,200 shot and wounded), there are, if calculated, 10,000 to 12,000 people a year who are affected. What happens in real life to those persons who are affected because they are powerless to do anything about it? They will seek power, and how do they do that? They go towards an organisation that they see that looks powerful, a gang, or they join the military or the police force to empower themselves to continue the cycle of violence,” he stressed.

The fact, Anderson said, is that violence will create more violence unless the pain and hurt of affected persons are given proper attention.

“The reality is that preceding violence will always create more violence. If there are 10,000 people, if their trauma is not dealt with, and is not recognised, how do they heal? That’s what we need to get at,” the JDF chief said.

THE CURE Anderson was adamant that the crime situation can only be cleared up with the participation of all.

“You can only do it with the participation of every well-meaning citizen,” he told The Gleaner following the lecture.

He hinted during his presentation that the society has failed in its efforts to help curb the acts of criminals.

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