It’s no secret that Jamaica has an anti-informer culture. Although citizens may know about criminals and criminal acts, the fear of being labelled as an ‘informa’ often keeps them from speaking up.
Deputy Superintendent Throyville Haughton of the Portland police division wants to change that. He knows it’s a huge task, but he is intent on changing this culture, one lyric at a time.
In a now-viral video, the cop encourages all Jamaicans to become informers.
Change the culture
“I want to change the conversation. We can’t just sit by and watch all the atrocities being committed against the people, and nobody says anything because it fits into a culture. It’s wrong, and we need to call it out,” he told BUZZ.
The 35-year-old cop said that during his 18 years in the force, he has seen firsthand the effects of the anti-informer culture on crime in Jamaica.
“That’s one of the major contributors to the continuous perpetration of crime. Because the criminals know that persons are afraid of talking, they are satisfied with the culture that we have. We [are] not saying anything because it’s not our business, and we’re not an informer. That gives them a lot of space to act,” he said.
“The criminals who are talking about ‘informa fi dead’ is somebody informing to them. So it’s OK for them to get information, to go destroy lives, but it’s not OK to inform that somebody can live in peace?”
“We can’t just sit by and watch all the atrocities being committed against the people.”— Deputy Superintendent, Throyville Haughton
Haughton has also written lyrics about domestic violence, parenting, leadership, and other issues.
“One of the things that I challenge myself to do is to put the lyrics together in a way that it’s catchy, but the message is very straightforward,” he said.
And although Haughton is trying to make a change, he is aware of the mistrust between citizens and the police force, which may prevent them from reporting crimes. But he insists that there are ways to go around that.
“That’s just an excuse because you have various means by which you can pass information on. We can call, we can find somebody who we trust that may know a police officer; a JP, a pastor, a principal, or one of your friends may know a police officer that they trust,” he said.
Meanwhile, Haughton said that he’s proud of the response to his latest song. He hopes that the message will set the precedence for a change in 2020.
“When you see persons proudly putting up on their status, ‘proud informer’, ‘inform fi life’, and people supporting that kinda thing, that’s what we want. And going into the New Year, the timing is perfect,” he said.