Friday 6 December, 2019

MP: A lot of the criminals come from the blocks

Dr. Sonia Browne, the Chairman of Committee, making her contribution.

Dr. Sonia Browne, the Chairman of Committee, making her contribution.

Blocks must go!

That was the emphatic plea made by the Member of Parliament for St. Philip North, Dr. Sonia Browne.

Rising to make her contribution in the Appropriation Bill debate today, Friday, March 22, 2019, she looked her colleagues in the eye and disagreed with many who believe that fraternising with the persons on the blocks and transforming the blocks are the way to go. She said loudly - No!

On this matter, she refused to advocate a meet-them-where-they-are-at mentality.

Admitting that most recently gun violence “hit too close to home” when someone was robbed at gunpoint in her neighbourhood a stone throw away from her house, she that blocks need to be a thing of the past.

Making it her mission to ask the hard questions, she said:

“The blocks, and I want to say congratulations to the work being done on the blocks, but I remember during the elections I wrote an article, a bit of research article on blocks, in the other countries they don’t call them blocks, but we have to face the stark reality that a lot of the criminals come from blocks.

“I will be the first to say it and I’m sure that somebody will kill me for it, but we have to face the harsh reality that a lot of the crime comes from the blocks.”

This comment caused an eruption of murmurs around the Lower House.

Unphased, however, she continued, “I think it is a good thing when we can take them off the blocks, I think we need to take them off the blocks rather than patronizing the blocks with initiatives.”

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Sternly she called for the individuals to be removed from that environment completely.

“Take them off the blocks, put them in a classroom setting, get rid of even the term blocks and let us move on with this, ‘cause I will be honest they are related. How ever much we would like to deny it, they [the blocks] are where the drugs come in, are used and sold. They are where the guns are used.

“Leh we be real people!”

Christ Church West Central he is doing a good job, “But I really would like the term block knocked off. Bring them off the block and do some of these measures.

“I don’t like de Block Initiative. I don’t like de Block-trepreneurs. It already tarnishes the name of people. We need to get that over and done with and move on!”

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