Are Jamaicans living abroad responsible for the out of control crime rate in Jamaica?

Gun shipment to Jamaica
Gun shipment to Jamaica

Just a few weeks ago, dancehall artist, Bounty Killer, lashed out at Jamaicans living overseas for shipping guns to Jamaica which is a major contributor to the high crime rate in the country.

Just this week a female poet released a poem entitled “Gunman and Gun boy” in which she made the same assertion that Jamaicans living abroad are shipping guns to Jamaica.

Ironically, just last week, 18 Karat Reggae did an article suggesting that Jamaicans abroad should stop sending barrels to Jamaica. The article had nothing to do with guns, but was centered on the positive impact sending money instead of barrels would have on the Jamaican economy.

With the crime rate getting worse on a daily basis, maybe it is time the Jamaican Government really starts looking into whether or not it is true, that is Jamaicans in foreign countries that are responsible for the majority of illegal guns in the country. And if that is the case, hire if necessary, extra screeners for the wharfs to ensure that every single barrels that clear the wharf are thoroughly and properly checked for illegal contraband.

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If Jamaicans abroad are really the cause, those involved in such practice should be ashamed of themselves. It means they are leaving the island to make a better life for themselves but at the same time making life worst for their fellow countrymen that they left behind.

Of course no official report from the Government has blamed the guns in the hands of criminals on Jamaicans abroad even though that is the overwhelming sentiment of the people. Years ago, we were told that it was a “drugs for guns” trade between Haitians and Jamaicans that was responsible for flooding the streets of Jamaica with guns. We were also told that it was because of the lottery scamming many Jamaicans had extra money to purchase guns legally. Then we were told that it is because of corruption and an incompetent system why criminals were gaining access to legal guns, for example, no real background check in gun purchasing on the island.

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Until we hear something official from the Jamaican government, it is unfair to lay the blame on citizens living abroad. However, if it is true that those living in foreign countries are shipping guns to Jamaica, then these Jamaicans are the worst that the island has to offer.



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