Crime fighting strategy formula brain vs brawn.

I have been on social media all week, literally complaining about our propensity to complain about everything, even when the issue being complained about is a proposal to solve a problem that we have  identified.

I am not bashing complaints per se, but frankly I am fed up with who, I shall now call “serial complainers” , those who seem to just complain because they have a forum and an audience.

I am however more solution oriented, I will complain, or comment on an issue and in most cases tries to offer what I consider to be a viable alternative.

Crime is one of, if not the biggest problem in Jamaica today and despite the many task forces, crime plans etc, we have not been able to break the back of this monster.

I am offering up to the Minister of National Security and the JCF what I believe is one of the pillars on which all future crime strategies can be built on.  This not something new coming from me, as I have made these suggestions before.

Strategy Formulation  #1

Information technology and Intelligence gathering


  1. GOJ should seek funding either by grant or loan( or a combination of both) from the European union, the government of China, USA , Germany and France to do the following.
    1. Purchase at least 200 desktop computers, one for every police station across the country( We have at least 190 stations).
    2. 20 higher end desktop computers 5 for each of the 4 Area Headquarters in Jamaica
    3. 57 computers for the 3 each for each of the 19 divisional headquarters across the country. ( All computers here must have USB & DVD access disabled before going into use)
    4. 50 computers at the soon to be established Data Analytics and Intelligence Gathering Center
    5. Acquisition and installation of CCTV systems in St Catherine, Hanover, Kingston and St Andrew, Clarendon and St James.
    6. 38 Server 2 each for the divisional headquarters
    7. 10 server for , 2 each for the area headquarters
    8. 10 servers for the Data Analytics and Intelligence center( 5 back up)
    9. High speed internet routers .
    10. Network design and layout connections to link all these computers on a common network and feed all data to the Data Analytics and Intelligence Gathering Center
    11. Recruitment and training of IT specialist to setup the system to facilitate the integrate, CCTV system into local, area, divisional and Data Analytics and Intelligence Center
    12. Recruitment of at least 10 Data Analytics experts to use data mining processes to extra useful information from all the collected crime statistics and trends to help formulate strategic, tactical and operational crime fighting plans.
    13. Installation of network security to prevent unauthorized access from interval staff and hacking
    14. Work with UWI, UTECH and other universities to fund Data Analytics training courses for person who are interested in working in this unit.


More to follow in the coming weeks.

What really happened at RIU, which led to that explosion

Last week Thursday, we got the sad news that an employee( now we hear he is the Maintenance Engineer/Manager) died and three others were injured in an explosion in the Boiler Room at RIU Montego Bay.

Since the incident, there appears to have been a news blackout and nothing appears to be coming from anyone in relation to what may have transpired.

In the absence of information, I will seek to present some likely scenarios as to what may have occurred and what could have led to this taking place.

Firstly, given the fact that the Manager was in the room at the time, one can reasonable assume there may have been a problem and he was there to assist his team in finding a solution.

What do we know

  1. We know there was an explosion, but we are not sure what type
  2. We know one person died and others had severe burns.

Some back ground.

A boiler is a steam generating device that produces steam at a very high pressure, depending on the use of the steam and type of boiler. Think of the Boiler being something like a  pressure cooker.

The process involves essentially heating water  in tubes( or jacket) to create superheated steam ie steam at high temperature and  pressure, which is then transferred via insulated pipes to provide hot water for laundry, steam for ironing at the laundry etc.

The process starts by what is called a purging cycle, at this stage all unburnt hydrocarbons in vapour form are removed from the burner chamber before ignition takes place. Unburnt hydrocarbons such as LPG which is used as an initiator could result in an explosion when the ignition electrodes sparks to begin the combustion  process.

The Boilers combustion controls is the device that starts the ignition process, before the fuel valve opens to allow the main fuel to enter the combustion chamber to begin combustion.

Boilers are extremely safe pieces of equipment when operated according to the recommended specifications. These equipment have a multitude of safety devices along with redundant devices and in the event one failure there is a back up. If the back up fails, it fails in what is called a “fail safe” manner, ie its failure should not result in a major catastrophic situation.

Therefore there can be namely two type of explosion

  1. Fire explosion
  2. Steam explosion.

The Fire explosion would most likely occur at the ignition stage which could result in the front or back door blowing off, if its is horizontal Boiler. For a Vertical Boiler depending on  the make the failure would be different.

Safety Devices for this stage

  1. Boiler flame detection sensors and switches
  2. Purge controls
  3. High oil temp
  4. High oil pressure
  5. Low air pressure
  6. Main flame cut out


Steam Explosion

For a steam explosion , there could be a number of reasons causing this namely

  1. Stuck steam blow off valves ( Boilers typically has two) which must be tested daily and verified once per year ( GOJ regulations)
  2. Low water alarm alarm and shutdown
  3. High water level alarm and shutdown
  4. etc maybe as much as 30-40 in total.

For a steam failure to occur it would be excessive pressure built up in the Boiler, which cannot escape

So for a Boiler to explode in means possible multiple safety devices failed or safety devises were bypassed ( common term is bridged out). When this occurs, the safety device no longer operates as it should, which allows an unsafe situation to continue undetected, ultimately leading to  catastrophic failure.

I hope the results of any investigation is made public, so it can assist other Maintenance Engineers in ensuring the provide their staff with sound practices to avoid any such failure in the future.

No employee should go to work and end at dead.






The Banking Services (Amendment) Act, 2016

I believe the intent of the act is good, given the fact that banks have sought to impose a heavy burden on the consumers for far too long.

Banks are the only business I know that you lend money to and are charged by the lendee ( bank) to access the money you lend them.

They are also the only business I know that sets the rates at which you lend them money, which they in turn lend to other business.

For the most part, the amendments seem fair, but there is one area that needs to be sorted out and that is schedule 132A  , Section 5  and Twelfth schedule part 3. minimum service package.

The sticking points appears to be the 120 free transactions per customer per year, but as far as I am concerned this is an easy fix.

There are some transaction that uses more resources than others and as such should be priced differently based on the size of the transaction.

The ability to or the consumers willingness to pay should be part of the consideration to arrive at a position so we can get to passing and  implementation of the act.

I am therefore suggesting a tiered fee structure.

Tier 1   Ave accounts  balances less than $100,000 per mth , 120 free transaction per year

Tier 2. Ave account balances $101,000 – $500,000 per mth, 80 free transactions per year

Tier 3. Ave account balances $501,000 – $1,000,000 per mth, 60 free transactions per year.

Tier 4 . Ave account balance > $1,000,000  36 free transactions per year.

This I believe will protect the most vulnerable with the least amount of resources and ability to pay, while allowing those with more resources and a willingness to pay progressively gets less free transaction.

As it relates to dormant account, I believe the act must not waiver on this part as banks should not be allowed to steal money from accounts considered to be dormant. I however have one issue  with the wording of this section Part 7 E, iii and iv. iii says there should be no transaction on the account and iv says the benefits attached to the accounts shall remain.

One benefit attached to an account is the right to earn interest, so if that should remain then there must be a transaction on the account to post that interest. I therefore believes that the wording should be examined further to make those two points do not seem  contradict each other.

The ease at which accounts can be opened and or moved between banks should be examined within the framework of local and international best practices . This is where I believe we can gain a lot . If I am not satisfied with any of the two big banks, I can move my money to another bank that charges me lower fees.

My two cents.

The Minister of National Security should review the bail act now!

Some months ago, the Minister of National Security was taken to task for suggesting that his ministry will be reviewing the bail act. Part of this review was to ensure that for some categories of murder, that alleged perpetrator  would not be allowed to take up bail.

The country erupted, with the Human Rights folks, the lawyers, the” ever on” air analyst and commentators as well as civil society suggesting its a terrible idea and would take away a person civil liberties.

The government apparently has backed off this proposal given the fact that I have heard nothing from then since then.

Fast forward to Jan 2017, we hear the very same people suggesting it was an egregious act for a JP who also happens to be the  Principal of a girls school to have signed the bail bond of an alleged rapist.

The very same smart, bright and well thinking people are today suggesting some other JP who apparently who would not be in good standing, should have  been asked by Ms Murray to sign the bail bond.

Do these people really understand what they are saying, well let me breakdown what I are the implications of this misguided view.

Those who are called upon to be JP, should have the following attributes

  1. Be in good standing
  2. Are honest and reputable and know by the community in which they operate

Those likely to be JP therefore are the following

  1. Lawyers
  2. Doctors
  3. School Principals
  4. Members of the clergy
  5. Policemen etc

To have a bail bond signed by a JP, the JP ought to know you and have known you for sometime, that is the basis on which they are allowed to sign.

So when I hear the suggestion be made that Ms Murray should have not signed the bail bond and instead should have asked someone else to do so, who may not even know the man, were they suggesting she be dishonest, given the basis on which a JP is supposed to sign.

Truth be told, they are not saying he should not be offered bail, but instead he should be denied bail by virtue of the fact that anyone one in good standing as a JP and  signs such a bail bond, would be supporting the alleged rapist.

Minister it is very clear to me therefore, that civil society is totally confused and have no idea what they want or what they should support. I therefore urge you to move swiftly to amend the bail act , which would make it impossible for some people to get bail.

Over to you Sir

Deal with the backlash, which won’t go beyond 9 days, but will surely will happen is a alleged murder would not be on the street on unleash terror on the rest of us.




Jamaica murder rate 1972 – 2016


Year # of Murders
1970 152
1971 145
1972 170
1973 227
1974 195
1975 266
1976 367
1977 409
1978 381
1979 351
1980 899
1981 490
1982 405
1983 424
1984 484
1986 449
1987 442
1988 414
1989 439
1990 543
1991 561
1992 629
1994 690
1995 780
1998 953
1999 849
2000 887
2002 1045
2003 975
2004 1471
2005 1674
2006 1340
2007 1574
2008 1601
2009 1680
2010 1428
2011 1125
2012 1097
2013 1200
2014 1005
2015 1192
2016 1350


I always say let’s the statistics speak for itself.

For sure we are a murderous nation, with 12 dead in three days.


Why have our crime fighting efforts paid so little dividend?

In business one of the favorite buzzwords especially when new management takes over is “low hanging fruit”.  The idea is you go after these things that are considered easy to do, cost very little in most cases, but give big returns.

Just recently the former government and then the JLP decided that the best way to spend money, is to provide cops with body camera. Why would a country with such little resources to address crime seek to fit cops with body cams, what benefit can we expect to get from such expenditures and how will this aid the crime fighting effort.

Part of the reason our “efforts” leads so little reward, is our resources are far too often directed in the wrong areas, with very little critical analysis being done, or it is ignored when done to satisfy someone’s ego.

The present Minister of Security Bobby Montague, will fail like the many others before him, because he has no plan or is likely to use old existing plans which have proven to be major failures.

We speak about fixing the justice, system but what does that mean, that is too broad a term to get to the real problems that needs to be fixed.

Firstly the entire structure of the police force does not lend itself to effectively fighting crime, so right away we begin the process on the wrong foot.

There has been talk of strategic reform of the police force, but this will not be supported by the higher echelon of the force, why. Well if I joined the force  at 18 and have worked my way up, earned one or two degrees on the way, I want a chance to be ACP, DCP or COP, so hell no, i will now support any move to rob me of that opportunity , I simply will not.

If the top members of an organization have no interest in the re-engineering of the organization for their own selfish reason, it will never happen and that is where the JCF has found itself. No one who comes up the rank in the JCF will ever be able to bring about real change, so we are virtually ” dead in the water”, or are we?

The entire JCF needs to be dismantled and a new organization formed along these lines.

  1. We have three counties and therefore need a Deputy Commissioner of police for  each county.
  2. Each of these DCP’s report to the COP
  3. Below these you have a single Superintendent of police for each parish in these counties.
  4. Everyone else is a either a detective or an officer,whose pay will be based on years of performance and years of service.
  5. All new persons entering the JCF must be given a minimum of 18 months training in law enforcement activities, after which the spend  another 18 months of specialized training in some of the following areas.
    1. Crime scene containment and protection.
    2. Forensics science, how evidence gathering can contaminate the very evidence you are collecting.
    3. Ballistics science, gun firing and testing, projectile angle to determine position of shooter with respect to the victim.
    4.  Front line detective work.
    5. Domestic affairs management, how to deal with domestic matters.
    6. Traffic , rules regulation and enforcement
    7. Building a dossier to bring case to court , what evidence must be gathered, how it must be gathered.
    8. Witness interrogation without badgering the witness. How to make witness comfortable to speak.
    9. Confidentially , how to protect witness and witness statement from possible compromise. Video taping of witness statement and protection of such evidence .
    10. Wire tapping, do’s and don’t.
    11. Surveillance without detection.
    12. How to investigate alleged acts of corruption within and external to the force.
    13. How to conduct high profile investigation before making an arrest and or going public
    14. Interacting with members of the public, community policing
    15. Riots  etc, how to act and react
    16. Hostage situation, open or in a confined space
    17. Special Weapons and Tactical Team

We can no longer have a police unit that is so hierarchical in structure that nothing gets done as people jostle for positions . We need to flatten the structure and broaden the skills through training.

When a cop leaves the training school, not only will he/she have the basic rudimentary training , but they will come out will some specialized skills to address the various needs of the Jamaica society .

This transformation is a must along with a name change if our security forces are to gain any success in addressing various crime matters in the country.

More to come…

You don’t need to have the physical weapon to solve a murder case

Every gun manufacturer by law must fire each gun made and keep a ballistic record of each gun  along with matching serial number.

In addition to that the trace-ability system requires that all guns made and sold must be recorded by the manufacturer and the gun dealer.

Most of the guns in Jamaica ( licensed and unlicensed ) originates from the USA, where those rules are strictly enforced .

There was a recent case on the Island of Jamaica, where a suspect was freed partly due to the fact that there was no forensic evidence to tie him to a murder and the main witness was said to have recanted on earlier statements.

This week we got news that the file associated with the former suspect was missing just ahead of the case for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition amongst other charges.

Let’s go back to the forensic evidence however, given we heard that the same spent shell signature was found at the scene of a double murder back in 2009/2010 so we have a serial killer on the loose.

So the local cops had( not sure if that has gone missing too) the ballistic signature of the spent shell in the Mais murder case as well as that of two additional murders.

The local cops can work with the FBI through the local office, who will then make contact with the ATF in the USA to try and determine the serial number of this gun, which then can be traced all the way back to the final purchasers locally.

Recall I said the gun manufacturer has on record the ballistic signature of each gun it makes as well as the serial number as well as the primary dealer to which it was sold. This primary dealer must retain a record to the seller overseas in Jamaica to which the gun was sold.

The local deal must too maintain a record of all gun sales in Jamaica and to whom those guns were sold.

Cops contact local dealer of gun, local dealer provides information on overseas supplier, local cops pass this information to local FBI office, who in turn passes it unto the ATF. ATF does its check sends info back to the FBI, who in turn passes this on to the local cops.

So as you can see above, you can link the gun to the owner, without the need to have the physical weapon , all it required is a little effort on the part of local investigators.

Nothing prevents this from still taking place before the ballistic report as well as firearms records in Jamaica goes missing.

Linking the gun to the owner does not necessarily solve the problem, since you still need to prove that the owner of the gun was in possession of the gun on the night of the murder, which too could have been solved by cell phone information , plus information from the inboard satellite tracking system  from the vehicle, which can be obtained from BMW itself.

News has since emerged that the person acquitted was in fact not the shooter and it was a related party, which means that the murder case is still active and that person can in fact  be arrested and charged for murder provided we can find forensic data to tie him to the scene, which would be difficult but not impossible if you have a crack team of investigators aided by FBI  profilers and investigators which are currently here in Jamaica.

So the first step is to get the forensic evidence, then bring in the “new” suspect for questioning  have FBI profilers, Interrogators and ATF experts being part of the team aiding the local cops ( the have no legal jurisdiction here but can help local cops) . The USA EXPERTS plus the fact that the new “suspect” is likely an American citizen can use their expertise to drill this suspect into submission and get the desired outcome we need.

So the K Mais murder case is far from over, all it needs is a bit of ingenuity and follow my advise above.


I am not a law enforcement officer or is associated with any law enforcement team in Jamaica or overseas.









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