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give coherence to the solutions7. High rates of youth unemployment (age 14-24 years) are generally associated with high levels of violence. This finding has been reported in study after study in country after country and is true for Jamaica.  It is well-known that a high proportion of violent crimes are committed by young males who are unemployed and underemployed. This problem is compounded in conditions of high levels of inequality. Policies that reduce unjust inequalities are likely to reduce some categories of violent crime, but recent research findings cast some doubt that in our case they would have an impact on the murder rate.  What is however very clear from the existing research on Jamaica is that police effectiveness as measured in terms of the clear-up rate and conviction rates would have a powerful, deterrent effect on violent crime, including murder - although it should be noted that existing research suggests that a simple increase in the number of police officers is not likely to yield a significant crime control return. The point is to improve the effectiveness of the Police (which does not automatically follow from increased numbers, but does not preclude this) and to end the impunity with which people are able to commit murder and other serious crimes.  

2.1.3. The Role of Corruption If the problem has its “root” in the above factors (among others), it is further facilitated by high levels of corruption. Transparency International measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians and produces an annual corruption perception index.  For 2005 Jamaica attained a score of 3.6 out of 10 and ranked it 64th out of 159 countries surveyed.  In most countries of the world where there has been the development of powerful organized crime networks, this has been facilitated by corrupt relationships between ordinary criminal gangs and the major political institutions. The gangs become key players in the processes of political mobilization on the streets, securing electoral victories, and in consolidating power – often because of their hold on communities of the urban poor.  This relationship leads to a flourishing of corruption and the plunder of the resources of the State. This is usually done via construction contracts, solid waste disposal contracts, and contracts for other services, including security services.8 Most of all, corruption facilitates serious crimes, and endemic corruption ensures the freedom of action to build powerful and successful criminal enterprises.  This is most problematic and yet most evident in the police service where corruption is endemic and institutionalized. In interviews that were conducted, selected JCF personnel from different ranks expressed the view that the majority of their senior officers were corrupt

7See Francis, A. et al. 2003. Crime and Development: The Jamaican Experience. Mimeo; and Frost, B. and Bennett, R. 1998 “Unemployment and Crime: Implications for the Caribbean” which was published in the Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Social Psychology Vol. 3 # 1-2 - for discussion on the empirically established relationships.

8 See Harriott, A. 2005 The Rise of Organized  Crime in Jamaica. Paper presented at Think Tank 2005.

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