MONTEGO BAY, April 27, 2022 - According to the Head of the Area One Police, Assistant Commissioner Clifford Chambers, young people in St. James are at a high risk of becoming involved in criminal activities.
There has been a Twenty-one percent (21%) increase in murders in the parish of St. James compared to a similar period last year.
Eighty percent (80%) of the crimes committed in the parish young people are the main perpetrators and are victims as well.
The toxic and corrosive impact of the Yankee Dollar from the lucrative lottery scam and its promise of instant prosperity, has corrupted the moral fibre of the Jamaican society and our vulnerable young people in particular who otherwise are good and useful citizens.
The lure of filthy lucre has spoilt our young people in the main and has made them victims of a cycle of violence and incentivized robbery and corruption. For this is not who we are.
The additive properties of the lottery scam are far more corrosive than that of the drug trade, it is far more addictive and insidious than crack cocaine with its promise of instant gratification.
Coupled with the poisonous brew of inequity, low wages, and the lack of opportunity in an ocean of conspicuous consumption, easy access to guns and ammunition that has fueled the path of destruction and undermines economic growth development, rendering Jamaica nothing but a pariah state.
To add salt to the wound we are in ‘continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Despite the best effort of the JCF with its crime suppression measures, the infectious malady persists accompanied by wonton acts of brutally and inexplicable carnage, with death and destruction in its wake, neither the threat of extradition nor the brutal ending of the participants is a deterrent.
They would rather die with their boots on than return to a life of poverty.
We must choke off the source of funding of this notorious enterprise, without impeding the flow of legitimate remittances. In other words, remove the roots of this destructive activity and allow the branches to wither.
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang says many of the murders in western Jamaica are directly linked to lottery scamming and contract killings. He made the revelation while visiting Cascade, Hanover, where Kamoill Williams, 3, and Tavaris Stevens, 27, were killed.#TVJNews pic.twitter.com/CQugTOargG— televisionjamaica (@televisionjam1) April 26, 2022
Instead of propagating the overused narrative that the scammers target the elderly and the demented to rationalize the victimization of its citizens in this nefarious scheme perhaps the United States Government should focus on this malady afflicting sections of the American public with the propensity to gamble, and treat with the pathology as a public health issue.
Like the war on drugs, the United States has sought to treat with the malady by suppressing the source of the drugs instead of going to the root in addressing the matter of demand of the afflicted.
The war on drugs sets in motion a tough-on-crime policy agenda that continues to produce disastrous results today. Since 1971, the war on drugs has cost the United States an estimated $1 trillion.
In 2015, the federal government spent an estimated $9.2 million every day to incarcerate people charged with drug-related offence, that is more than $3.3 billion annually. Today, researchers and policymakers alike agree that the war on drugs is a failure.
The Jamaican Government must enact the requisite legislation post haste, which would satisfy America’s demand for retribution. Kill them if you must, by our own hands, but spare us the collective shame of watching with embarrassment our citizens perp-walk the plank at Norman Manley’s tarmac with klieg lights for maximum effect, creating opportunity for the media to take photographs and videos of the arrested suspects.
This troubling and awkward sight of black men and women being carted off in chains to distant shores with white overseers as fodder to satisfy insatiable appetite of the American prison industry demand for cheap labour.
This brings back disturbing and sordid memories of our ancestors shackled and marching through the Door of No Return in Ghana through which millions of Africans were forced onto slave ships bound for America and the Caribbean.
In treating with the lottery scam, the USA need to learn from its failed and misplaced strategy in the war on drugs. My recommendation is for them to choke off the demand stateside; remove the roots, allow the branches to wither and immediately stop the funding to this unwholesome destructive force that is threatening our nation's future. Put an end to the scammers without impeding the flow of legitimate remittances.