Granville community needs intervention plan says MP Malahoo ForteSaturday, September 25, 2021
ST JAMES, Jamaica — The violence-torn community of Granville in St James requires a multifaceted intervention plan, says Member of Parliament (MP) for St James West Central, Marlene Malahoo Forte.
Speaking with reporters at her constituency office yesterday, the MP explained that over the years, the Granville community has benefitted from countless social intervention programmes but expressed that the crime problem needs everyone's support, not just that of government and law enforcers.
"The crime problem is a multifaceted problem, and it has to be tackled from all angles. Policing and security measures are a critical part of it but [cannot] be the only part of it," Forte said.
"Everybody who is involved in it is somebody's child and they know who they are and that is what I am asking… help me to get who are involved or who give off the appearance of not being involved but are very much involved, to understand that they are also a part of the problem and must be part of the solution," she said.
The MP added that unless her constituents are prepared to carry out their civic duty and play their part in the fight against crime by naming the violence-producers, the problem will persist.
"I have said to my constituents that I am not for any symbolic show of anything because they know who are carrying the guns, they know who is involved in the shooting and until they are prepared to turn in those persons, even when they are their relatives, then we are going to [continue to] have this problem."
She added, "Just be prepared to be a part of the solution because this MP doesn't take the crime problem lightly at all. I don't support the gun-running no matter where you come from, it is just causing a problem in society. Too many [individuals] have lost their lives to the gun, and everybody thinks that it is the 'in thing'. I have gotten calls about some 250 shots being fired in one location. For what?” she continued. “The guns are barking too much, and it cannot continue."
Statistics provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) showed that as of September 18, the parish of St James has recorded some 107 homicides since the start of the year.
The Councillor for the Granville Division has made several calls for a State of Emergency (SOE) to be implemented in the community. His latest being in August after the community experienced a spike in criminal activities due to an alleged gang rivalry.
When asked whether she supports the calls made by the Councillor, Forte said the Government remains committed to crime-solving in the community.
"I have taken the time out to study the kind of support, funding and programmes that have been done [in the community] over the years since the 1990s. The problem is not going to be solved overnight, but let me tell you something, the Government is prepared to do what is required within the limits of the law to deal with the issue."