See and blind, hear and deaf: Informerphobia in Jamaican garrisons

H.N. Johnson, J.M.M.L. Soeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to describe and analyse the notion of informerphobia in the context of Jamaican society. Informerphobia refers to the fear people have about reporting information on (threatening) violence, crime and terror to the state agencies/agents formally tasked to respond to these threats. The article draws on interviews with garrison residents, law enforcement officials and other citizens, as well as secondary research data. On the basis of this case study, the wider implications of this phenomenon are discussed. The article points to the importance of having properly functioning state agencies and systems that are effective, not part of the problem, and flexible enough to deploy in a decentralized manner, hence generating trust within local populations. In addition, a civic culture of ordinary citizens providing counter-pressure is indispensable for state agencies to be more effectual. The concept of informerphobia is new, as is its conceptual elaboration and application to Jamaica.
Keywords: informerphobia, Jamaica, crime, garrisons, fear, informer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-66
JournalCrime Prevention and Community Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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