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One way ticket to Hell

By JULIEN NEAVES Tuesday, January 7 2014

WITH 16 murders being committed in the first six days of this year, National Security Minister Gary Griffith said those committing murders have no fear of natural justice or eternal damnation, but added their actions result in a “one way ticket to Hell”.

He noted most people commit crimes because they do not believe there is a price to pay for their actions. He added that as a Christian he is concerned that those committing cold-blooded murders show they do not have fear of earthly justice or fear of God.

“They do not have a fear of that ultimate sentence...not of being found guilty of murder but that ultimate justice price of eternal damnation,” Griffith said. He noted this showed the importance of religion in reversing the trend of lawlessness and mayhem in society.

“This is what I will plead with parents and friends who know individuals involved in gang- related activities. These people are setting themselves up for a one way ticket to Hell,” he said.

And despite the bloody start to the new year, Griffith said law-abiding citizens today are less likely to be a victim of crime than they were five years ago. Of the 400 murders committed last year, Griffith said 47 were related to drug activity while 197 were gang related.

Griffith quickly added that because a person was murdered through drug or gang related activities, did not diminish the fact that a life had been violently snuffed out. “We cannot disregard the fact or water down the fact that the murder rate reached 400 last year and there was a murder a day last year,” he said.

Noting that the murder of law-abiding citizens have decreased he said when major crimes are down the murder rate goes down. “And this is what we saw as very peculiar. Major criminal activity statistics went down from about 21,000 in 2009 to 12,000, but the murder rate remained the same. This is in contrast to basic statistics of criminal activities all over the world,” Griffith said.

He said major criminal activity was down in almost every aspect, including kidnapping, rape, robbery, larcenies, theft and motor vehicle theft and this happened because of a good concept of policing and deterrents being put in place. He noted that the Rapid Response Unit, which will be launched today, will assist in stopping minor disturbances such as domestic agreements or bar fights, from escalating into, “very serious criminal activity.”

On the murder rate staying at almost the same level despite the reduction in other major crimes Griffith said this was because of gang related activity and drugs. “This is not in any way to diminish the concern that we will have about the murder rate and we will continue to be (concerned), but it means quite obviously that the concept of policing to protect law-abiding citizens is on track,” he added.

Questioned how the distinction is made between a gang and drug related homicide Griffith said this is done by the Police Service Crime and Problem Analysis Unit. He said with statistics the focus will be on proper intelligence gathering to apprehend gang leaders, who are instrumental behind a large proportion of murders. Questioned what can be done to arrest gang leaders after years of promises from previous national security ministers, Griffith said: “There is a lot being done right now.” He refused to go into details saying only, “we are putting things into place.”

Questioned whether he agreed with the recent statements by Archbishop Joseph Harris that the society was very “angry” Griffith said people committing crimes here would not do it elsewhere, and we have to put more emphasis on deterrents and people being aware that they can be apprehended.

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