Media, officials knock heads on crime
Front Page
February 18, 2005
Media, officials knock heads on crime

This week’s encounter between the National Commission on Crime Prevention (NCCP) and members of the media concluded with a plea for closer co-operation between the two parties.{{more}}

The encounter was dubbed an Open Forum with the Media Houses and turned out to be just that. There were brief addresses from NCCP members Pastor Steve Phillips, Permanent Secretary Godfred Pompey, Minister of National Security Sir Vincent Beache and Bishop Robert Rivas, which preceded the discussions.

Sir Vincent called on the media to be responsible in reporting crime. He advised that the way crime is reported on is very important since crime has an important bearing on the economy.

Sir Vincent exemplified by relating a new version on the often-talked-about story about the reasons actor Tom Cruise decided against staying here for carnival. In Sir Vincent’s version, it was because Cruise had seen crime “splashed” on the front pages of newspapers here. This was a different version to that proffered sometime earlier which had claimed that Cruise left because he was disgusted by the attitude of a taxi operator toward the Scientology Church group that the actor belonged to.

The National Security Minister also informed the media grouping that the NCCP had become more of a counselling rather than a crime-fighting organisation.

Bishop Robert Rivas, addressing the forum reminded that their role was to ensure that “an environment of peace was created that lay the foundation for building a culture of peace.” He made the call for people to have a new mind, a different way of acting with self-control as a response to the growing crime trend.

The Bishop pointed out that this process begins from within. When that happens he said, then we have persons ready to be peacemakers.

Members of the media pointed out among other things that practitioners merely report the events as they occur in the society as opposed to creating them. The manner in which radio was liberalised without any guidelines was also offered as one of the reasons for the less than desirable standard of some radio programmes here.

Radio had been heavily criticised by some members of the NCCP. The “garbage” broadcast on some radio stations was berated by one person.