Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | July 22, 2009
Home : Letters
LETTER OF THE DAY - Jamaica's gun problem

The Editor, Sir:

Everyone is rightly concerned about the ongoing gun problem in Jamaica. We have struggled with many ideas and implemented new strategies to control this problem, but the situation seems to worsen or remains the same each year.

The current approach used by the JCF and JDF is not effective. We seem to focus on recovering the guns. Our focus should be on preventing the guns from reaching our shores. Here is my suggestion to reduce the number of guns entering our island.

strategic look

We should take a strategic look at the current role of the JDF and see if we can significantly expand the size of the coastguard by training and transferring about 30 per cent of the soldiers at Up Park Camp, waiting for something to happen.

This would put us on the offence rather than on the defence. With this transfer of manpower and resources, we would set up at least six coastguard stations on the coastline across the island. Since we already have Port Royal, Port Antonio, and Discovery Bay, we could establish new stations in Montego Bay, Bluefields, or Whitehouse in Westmoreland, May Pen, Old Harbour Bay and Morant Point.

shifting resources

We should use them to patrol our waters in a systematic way, given areas of responsibility of these stations.These guns are not coming in through the regular channels of the air or sea ports, but they are being smuggled in by illegal boats.

If we implement these changes, I am confident we would significantly reduce the number of illegal guns on our streets. Also, this will not have a significant cost since we are shifting resources and not asking for new money.

I am, etc.,

Wayne Graham


Chicago, USA

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