Candidate for the People’s National Party (PNP) in St. Catherine North West, Hugh Graham, has expressed shock about the violent crimes being perpetrated in the constituency, adding that the time has come for practical solutions.
He made the call hours after food vendor Omar Anderson was gunned down in broad daylight near Linstead Market, making him the second person shot dead in the area within nine days. Neville Thomas was shot and killed at Wakefield on the evening of February 10.
While not specifying any of the incidents, Graham said: “I am really concerned and alarmed about the unabated crime and violence in North West St. Catherine. These violent crimes committed against our constituents are shocking.
“I am saddened to know that we have forgotten the value and the inviolability of life and today no one is safe in our homes, streets, schools, churches and indeed our communities,” Graham said in a press release, adding that his team is ‘expressing the deepest of sympathies to all who have been impacted by this wave of violent crimes’.
Graham, who is also Councillor for the Lluidas Vale Division in the constituency, appealed for all stakeholders to work together in formulating a feasible plan aimed at addressing the underlying cause of violence.
“In my opinion, solving crime requires interventions that deal with the root causes instead of manifestations,” he reasoned.
Graham added: “I am suggesting we have a broad-based consultation that will include the Government, educators, policy makers, working groups and more importantly psychologists and sociologists that can come together and arrive at solutions that permanently change the behaviours of individuals. This could be done as a pilot project and, if successful, be implemented across the country.”
Graham is also lobbying for his constituency to benefit from social intervention programmes such as those being implemented elsewhere under the government’s Zones Of Special Operations.
St. Catherine North West, in the meantime, is among places under a state of emergency since last year.
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