Former police commissioner Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has criticized the way some crime-fighting measures have been implemented, calling them an “abuse of good human resources”.
Lewin, in his sharp criticism, said criminals are outperforming authorities, who he says did not anticipate the next move of offenders.
“They think and we don’t, it’s as simple as that. And we have to be adaptable, so when do you start making it clear to some that they’re going to adapt because they’re very adaptable,” said Lewin who was speaking on a panel at the launch of the justice report by Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) on Wednesday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Lewin added, “Don’t wait for their new methodology to settle in before playing catch-up. Think carefully, what are they going to do next? You see the recent hits on the docks, they are going to move their method of importing weapons. Have we started to think clearly… they’re going to move on to other ways, now what will it be? »
“We have in the security forces, the leadership, the brains to think about these things, but we have to get out of some of the things that we’re just locked into, some of the things that we do,” he said.
“We need a strategy that says we have to reduce the free movement of criminals without being challenged. We want to sever the space and the free movement of criminals throughout the country or region.
Moments earlier, the former commissioner shared his thoughts on how the government recently used controversial states of emergency as a crime-fighting tool.
“We cannot do this by having soldiers and police in a tent at a fixed point. We need mobile checkpoints. They go around the stop, half an hour here. Stop, check, move. Criminals must be off balance,” Lewin asserted.
“We could have done what we did in Montego Bay without a declaration. The only thing we couldn’t do was detain people for the periods we did and suspend habeas corpus,” he suggested.
“I have no problem with a state of emergency for the two weeks if you want to be shocked and impressed as they call it, but when it expires, let it expire. There are many operational measures that can be implemented that have better value than a state of emergency,” Lewin said.
“The kind of state of emergency and the things that we have done, for me, is an abuse of good human resources,” he said.
Lewin opined that the crime problem in Jamaica started before independence, but is manifesting itself with the current crime wave and requires quality, efficient and professional policing to be addressed.
He said the issue should be tackled at all levels, including breaking the law on the island’s roads, with all members of the police force, as well as citizens and the government playing a role.
Lewin served as Commissioner of Police between 2007 and 2009 and led the Jamaica Defense Force from 2002 to 2007.