Mikhail Liburd - son of Patches Liburd-cropped
Mikhail Liburd - son of Patches Liburd-cropped

Constituency Seven-Labour Tuesday, August 28, 2018. Last Wednesday (August 22, 2018), when the Labour Party leadership took to the airwaves in a press conference to speak to the nation about the need for serious action to reduce crime, the elected government told the nation to ignore Labour for crime is trending downward. Today, we awake to the news that the nation recorded its twentieth official murder for the year.

All the speakers at the Labour press conference and more specifically Dr. Denzil Douglas (our party leader) and Cde. Konris Maynard (the representative of constituency three) highlighted the need to be upfront in our efforts as people to stamp out crime and criminal activity in our country, without seeking to politicise the issue. This our leaders said is important because crime affects us all.

Who would have thought that within one week of that press conference the twentieth murder recorded in our federation would have been the son of a sitting minister of government? Who would have thought that the home of the Hon. Ian Liburd would be in mourning today? We surely could not. These truly are serious times.

Constituency Seven – Labour joins with all God-fearing, peace-loving, law-abiding citizens to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of the slain young man, Mickail Liburd. His death, along with those of the many precious souls lost to crime and violence, is a sharp reminder that crime does affect us all and we need to be serious about arresting crime and bring peace and civility back to our country.

Twenty murders demands that we seek change. It demands that we change our approach to crime fighting and border security. It demands that we go back to the table to revisit our policies and plans, for surely they are failing us. When we look among the twenty that have perished, we see that three law enforcement officers were slain this year alone and now the son of a minister of government. That alone causes great concern for the ordinary man on the street.

Twenty murders say that there is need for change from glib talk that crime in trending downward. The only things heading downward are the lifeless bodies of our brothers and sisters as they are lowered into the dark and desolate pit called the grave. There is need for change from “All Talk” which should only be monthly plan on our cellphones and not the response to crime by a government.

Twenty murders are enough of a reason to demand change in the response of the police. While we applaud the work of the rank and file officers and their high command, the people demand a change to consistent community policing. Do not just concentrate on hot spots for a while and leave thereafter. Be a constant presence in all our communities that is friendly, familiar and engaging.

Twenty murders demand change in the Ministry of National Security. The Minister, the Permanent Secretary and the handsomely paid Advisor must be asked to shape up or ship out. There is need for committed leadership at the head of our national response to crime. These men seem to be comfortable in the gilded ivory palaces far removed and disconnected from the reality that crime affects us all.

We want change for this twenty. We want change in a currency that is proactive and progressive. We want change that translates to the peace and security we desperately want to feel in every community. We want to hear from the leadership of this country acknowledging that there is more needed to be done to win the peace in our nation and we want clear, definitive action. Some may think that any admitting of failure to win the peace by the government is admitting to having failed in the fight against crime.

If that is the case, still let us see it as the first step to regaining the peace we long for, that we yearn for, that we deserve to have as a God-fearing people. Let us move away from the posturing and let us work together to find the solutions for a problem that is not greater than our intellect and our passion for peace.

Twenty is too much to lose. We want change.

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