About two years after Vybz Kartel was behind bars, Jamaica’s then National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, said that because of Kartel’s incarceration, Jamaica was experiencing a significant decrease in crimes. In other words, Vybz Kartel was partly to be blamed for Jamaica’s high crime rate.
“I have no empirical basis to prove that Vybz Kartel’s conviction is one of the contributing factors, but if I were to speculate, I believe it would definitely be one of the factors.” Bunting said back then.
Of course at the time the crime rate has dropped but for a national security to utter those words, one would expect that he would have had some solid data to back it up. When you are in such high position, you should not say such things and say you have “no empirical basis to prove” it.
Fast forward five years and Jamaica’s crime rate is skyrocketing again even though Kartel is still behind bars. Although it can be argued that the crime rate in the corporate area has stayed low while skyrocketing in the western parishes like St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover. It must also be mentioned that a lot of the crime is a result of the lottery scamming, at least that is what the elected officials are telling the people.
If Kartel’s incarceration did result in a reduction of crime in places like Kingston and Portmore, the Jamaican people should know about it. It should be based on actual facts and metrics, however, not just a minister of security blabbering at the mouth.
What the minister should have done is conducted a study to get the real impact of Kartel’s incarceration. Had he done a real study and his speculations turned out to be true, that would be important information to help Jamaica in the fight against crime. Speculations, however, will not help in the fight against crime. Speculations can only lead to more innocent ghetto youths getting harassed, arrested or even worse.
Blaming dancehall reggae for Jamaica’s ills is the an easy way out, especially when there is no data to back it up.