Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Fitz Bailey says violence and crime is a societal problem and will require a “join up” approach as well as the re-socialisation of men for a solution.
Bailey made the statement while giving an update on the murder charge against 50-year-old Robert Fowler in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death of Khanice Jackson who was found dead last Friday at the Portmore Fishing Village in St Catherine.Jackson was reported missing on Wednesday.
“Violence and crime in general is not really a police problem. It’s a societal problem and whilst the police can have our own plans and strategy to cauterise the violence, it requires the entire society and join up approach,” DCP Bailey argued.
“We can have eye visibility, we can use our intelligence in the appropriate and efficient way and we are getting better at those, the result is very clear in terms of the succession or the quick way in which we bring perpetrators to justice, the amount of cases that are being solved and the result…in terms of guilty pleas that we are getting.
“We can do all that we can but until society recognise that violence has become a culture and we have to put measures in terms of looking at the way we bring up out children, that is very critical in terms of our way forward, or the way we focus on our boys,” Bailey added.
He said that there needs to be a culture change in which social entities, non-governmental organisations, government entities, the Church and civic organisations should recognise that “all of us do have a role to play in this process”.
The DCP also highlighted the need to culture men to understand that women are not their property.
“We do not have a claim of right to a woman and we need to desist from leaving that and I think also it’s going to be a process of education and we have to start the conversation.
“We can’t police our way out of this, I believe we have to have that join up approach to treat with this issue of violence. And violence is not about violence against women, it’s violence against everyone including children, including our young men,” Bailey said.
The DCP noted data that suggested that within 2011 to 2020, there was an average 156 women being killed annually — the highest being 160 in 2017 and the lowest being 100 in 2014.
However, Bailey noted that the same data for men revealed an average of 1,200 annually killed — the highest being over 1,400 in 2017. He said in 2020, there was just over 1,200 men killed.
“If we drill down into the data, we will see also violence against young people and that is something that we are looking at as well. So the point I am trying to raise is that violence is a problem, it’s against everybody, female, women and it’s too high. We need to change that culture of violence,” Bailey explained.
“If we look at the data in terms of the interpersonal violence, the violence in relation to family etc, that’s very high and we have to teach our people how to resolve issues without getting into violence,” he continued.
The DCP said the country has to engage in a programme that looks at the issue of values and attitude.
“How do we change that?…I think it comes down to value, what value do we put on ourselves as men because most of the perpetrators are in fact men. So, until a man can get to that place where he values himself and values relationship, we are going to continue to see this level of violence,” he added.