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High crime rate worries lawyers

KINGSTON — The Jamaican Bar Association is lamenting the island’s “frighteningly high” level of crime saying that it has created a spiral which will breed even more crime.

“Connect the dots, the profile of crime in Jamaica leads to a reduction in, and a withdrawal of, local and foreign investments; reduced investments means fewer opportunities for employment for our young men and women; less employment opportunities means less tax revenue to provide for the justice system, education, housing, health and other social services; fewer opportunities for employment means more crime. Increasing crime can take us into a perfect downward spiral where every sector suffers, every Jamaican loses and all systems fail,” the attorneys said in a release Thursday.

In emphasising the Bar Association’s position, President Ian Wilkinson QC said that no one in the society, including attorneys, benefitted from the unacceptably high crime rate.

“The bar wishes to dispel the mistaken belief that lawyers profit from this situation. As a Bar, we too suffer the pain that all Jamaicans feel when a family member or a loved one is cut down by the hands of murderers,” Wilkinson said.

The JBA president further argued that failures in the local justice system contributed to an erosion of the rule of law.

“We need no consultants or further studies to let us know that the delay in the justice system, in both civil or criminal cases, fuel further crime which, in turn undermines the rule of law. And, at the end of the day the blame game is unhelpful and does not provide solutions,” Wilkinson insisted. (Observer)

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