Jamaica’s opposition shadow minister is worried about the rising crime levels on the island after decades of increasing criminality.
The People's National Party's Shadow Minister of National Security, Fitz Jackson, says more needs to be done to halt the country's “worsening crime crisis.” Jackson's comments were triggered by the recent murder of a Westmoreland businessman and his wife in the tourist destination, Negril.
Jackson said the “gruesome and barefaced murders” have heightened the crime crisis and brought with it a new fear into a community which depends on tourism.
Osbourne Richards and his wife Patrizia Richards were murdered two weeks ago, during an apparent burglary and robbery at their West End home in Negril.
Police reported that the hands of both victims were bound with an electrical cord and fabric. The police said that a refrigerator was missing.
“It is indeed a sad moment for the people of Westmoreland and the entire country that as we approach the end of yet another year, the government continues to dispense a steady stream of excuses for not being able to resolve those issues that continue to fuel the crime wave across several communities,” said Jackson.
The opposition spokesperson also said that the killings further highlight the ineffectual use of states of emergency on which the government has relied to solve the crime wave which has taken the lives of more than 1,200 Jamaicans since the start of the year, an average of 22 a week.
He said the overuse of state of emergencies has nullified the “shock and awe” effect that was intended to stop criminals in their tracks and allow normal policing and other security operations to proceed successfully.