Private sector must help fight crime – Little-White

Should Jamaica’s private sector be willing to accept more responsibility to prevent crime?

Three-time crime victim and popular lifestyle consultant and nutritionist, Dr Heather Little-White certainly feels so.

Little-White was recently robbed of an undetermined sum of cash by a motorcyclist at JoJo’s on Waterloo Road where she had gone after leaving the bank. She was left paralysed after being shot by gunmen during a carjacking attempt nearly 11 years ago. Little-White’s house was also burglarised two years ago.

Speaking during yesterday’s Gleaner Editors’ Forum on the role of victims, families and communities in reducing crime and violence, Little-White said there was a very wide network of criminals behind the high levels of robbery now taking place.

According to her, the police had admitted to having their hands tied.

“Up to this morning, I learned from the police that a man left Bank of Nova Scotia having taken his payroll, and in a flash, it was gone,” Little-White told the forum.

Lesser crimes

Little-White, who has received over 500 emails and phone calls from persons who have experienced similar attacks, said while there has been much attention paid to murders, the lesser crime levels were more pervasive.

Little-White said she had written to the Jamaica Bankers’ Association on learning that several robberies had been occurring at banks.

“The banks have to take charge and they have to spend more money on resources, which means that it is a national call for everybody to put what they have to make the effort work. It can’t be just Government or the police.”

Little-White acknowledged that while banks were not obliged by law to provide security, businesses needed to understand, in the interest of customer relationships and good customer service, they needed to provide some level of security.

“Had I had security at JoJo’s, I don’t think I would have been robbed there. Maybe I would have been robbed somewhere else,” said Little-White.

“We must call on the private sector. Everybody has to come to a national consensus to say ‘This element of crime has to stop’,” said Little-White.

“How can we produce in a society when we’re full of fear? That’s the big question.”

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