Hopelessness fueling crime - St James custos
Ewen Corrodus, the custos rotulorum of St James, believes that the current wave of crime affecting Jamaica is being fuelled by a sense of hopelessness stemming from the belief that nobody is listening to the cries of the nation's citizens.
He voiced this concern while delivering the keynote address at the official opening ceremony for the Office of the Public Defender's western regional office in Montego Bay, which was held at the St James Parish Church yesterday.
"I am convinced that the current wave of crime, violence, and general lawlessness is largely due to the fact that for many years, we have failed to defend the rights of others as we used to do in the past. In fact, we have failed to even defend our own rights, sometimes due to fear or a feeling of hopelessness," said Corrodus.
"We may tell ourselves that it will be futile because we are not being heard anyway. Voicelessness leads to hopelessness, hopelessness to desperation, and desperation produces a whole range of antisocial behaviour. This kind of environment is the breeding ground for vices of all kinds," he added.
"On the other hand, the assurance that someone is here to defend you and to ensure that justice is served will certainly go a long way in the healing process of our nation."
The year 2017 was recorded as one of the bloodiest years in Jamaica's history, with 1,616 murders recorded across the country. St James had the highest murder rate, with 335 persons being killed last year.
In speaking to the opening of the public defender's new office in western Jamaica, Corrodus pledged that the people of St James would cooperate with Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry in carrying out her office's mandate of securing justice for all citizens of Jamaica.
"It is the duty of each of us to become public defenders in our own right. I can assure you that every decent, law-abiding citizen of this parish stands ready to support and assist you in your work," said Corrodus.