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Jamaica’s Opposition Leader Issues 60 Day Ultimatum For Police Chief to Quit

Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson s


January 26, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

In an unprecedented move Opposition Leader Hon. Mark Golding at a virtual press conference held today has issued an ultimatum to Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson to step aside if he does not change course and make adjustments to his crime fighting plan.

“If the commissioner cannot get a handle on crime and change his strategy within the next sixty day then he should step aside and ask someone to take over”

Mark Golding Opposition Leader dropping down the gauntlet

Ricardo  Brooks, host and journalist was speaking on “This Morning”  the very popular morning show airing on Nationwide 90. 3 FM.  Brooks quoted an African proverb that states:

“When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers”.

The grass (he) Ricardo Brooks further explained is the people.  He further said inter alia:

“By all means attacking the Security Minister is fair game, but to attack the head of the Security forces sends the wrong signal to criminal elements. They know that the political parties are already divided by their failing to vote to extend the latest SOE.

“The newly appointed female head of the army Admiral Weins Gorman has already publicly stated her support for the State Of Emergencies (SOEs)”

 Crime Reduction

It is no secret that all types of reported crimes in Jamaica apart from homicides have been on the decline.  Since January 2022 there has been a 12 percent rise in homicide related crimes when compared to the corresponding period in 2021.  Year to date over 100 homicides have been recorded in a population of less than 3 million persons.   This has been a cause for concern.

Gun

The gun is the main weapon being used to commit these homicides.  This is with the background of government drafting new legislation to make possession of an illegal firearm treated more seriously in sentencing.

PM Spoke

A minimum of 10 years in prison up from 5  plus years is being considered for those who are caught in possession of an illegal firearm according to P M Andrew Michael Holness as he spoke to Abka Fitz Henley in an exclusive interview held at Vale Royal, his Official Residence recently. Excerpts of the interview were heard today January 25, 2022.  This palacious edifice with well manicured lawns and full time police security is fully maintained, but not actually occupied.  This has been so during the tenure of successive PMs.

Backlash

There has been a swift pushback by civil and related groups to the ultimatum issued by the Opposition PNP Leader Hon. Mark Golding. Firstly, the Opposition is on record of opposing the recent renewal of the contract for the Commissioner when it came up for renewal early last year (2021).  Under the constitution the PM has to consult with the Opposition when making such appointments, but the PM is not bound to accept any advice received. It is a mere formality.  Just a part of the system of government that we have in Jamaica.  It is so elsewhere in the British Commonwealth.

Rejection

There has been widespread condemnation and outright rejection of the call by Mark Golding for the police Commissioner to quit in 60 days if he does not change his policing strategy of relying to large measure on state of emergencies to curb crime. It should he noted that the Opposition Leader Golding has no power or authority to dismiss the police head.

Commentary

It is the role of the Opposition to raise issues, but they need to be sensible suggestions.  The PNP had been in power and could not tame the crime beast.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author, and senior international journalist who writes for Vision newspaper.

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