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is presented as a series of related steps toward the more effective and sustainable control of crime (especially violent high-end) in Jamaica. In the final section issues of implementation are discussed.

2.0.CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

2.1.CHALLENGES

2.1.1.Characteristics of the Problem

2.1.1.1. The Jamaican crime situation is very dynamic. Any attempt to develop a policy response that has a chance of gaining consensual support must be grounded in a proper characterization of the situation.  Earlier in this report, the current situation was characterized as a crisis of public safety. This is quite different from a crisis of state security, or a crisis of generalized state failure or institutional collapse. It specifically refers to the inability of the responsible state institutions to adequately protect the citizenry from criminal victimization.

2.1.1.2. How one responds to a “culture of violence” is different from how one would respond to a situation in which the levels of social and ordinary criminal violence may be high but these behaviour patterns are situationally induced rather than culturally grounded. To admit to a culture of violence is by definition to admit the existence of a profound crisis.

2.1.1.3. A crisis situation demands a different type/level of intensity of response and resource mobilization than a “normal” situation or lower-level problem.  This is a simple requirement of integrity. Failure to act in a manner that is consistent with such an evaluation of the situation may indicate a deeper crisis of state (in)capacity, or of endemic corruption and a complicit or at least a weak and diffident leadership.

2.1.1.4. According to the NSS, the main crime-related threats facing the country are organized crime (especially transnational organized crime) and public disorder or as it is put in the document “ the rule of law (is) at risk”.5  We agree with the threats identified in the NSS and the assessment of the difficulties that they present.  

2.1.1.5. Organized crime is a prime source of violent criminality, especially large-scale violence that is able to confront the security forces and to create major disruptions in the economic and social life of some of the major cities.  Beyond this, is the problem of social violence among ordinary citizens who are unable to peacefully settle quite ordinary everyday disputes without resorting to violence - and who do not have the assistance of the institutions of the State (for example, a more proactive and interventionist police

5 See the National Security Strategy for Jamaica 2005 page 6

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