“We cannot continue to attempt to fix our dire crime situation in a vacuum”

It is quite daunting to think the peaceful community where I grew up is now one of the most violent places in the parish of Clarendon. Incidents of crime and violence were infrequent and would be concentrated to specific areas during my formative and teenage years. I often walked for more than a mile several nights, well after midnight, after hanging out with friends. There weren’t many street lights and several of the few that existed, including the one by my gate, didn’t work most times. Unoccupied land resembled a forest. There was no police patrol, but I didn’t feel anxious about the likelihood of being a victim of crime.

– Jaevion Nelson

This is a thought-provoking, first-person account by human rights activist Jaevion Nelson in today’s Gleaner. He writes about how crime and violence affect him and the community in which he grew up. As someone who did not grow up here and has only been here a short time, I am reluctant to talk about crime and violence and how it has impacted me, so accounts like this are always welcome.

In fact, crime and violence are a part of life here. They dictate everything, from how you move about, to where you live to what you buy. Please read Jaevion’s column to get a sense of how the situation is evolving. Jae points to community development and creating more opportunities for youth as potential solutions and I would tend to agree.

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