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JAMAICA | Do Not Let History Repeat Itself – PM Holness

Featured Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness. Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness.
MONTEGO BAY, April 30, 2018 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said the Government will not give up its strategic intent to combat crime in the country.

The Prime Minister’s response comes on the heels of Opposition’s position of not supporting the extension of the St. James State of Emergency [SOE] beyond the current request to be brought to Parliament.

“We fell into that trap in 2010 when we were not able to get the support of the opposition to extend the state of emergency which was called then. Unfortunately I’m seeing where a similar situation is likely to play out based on the declaration made by the leader of the Opposition recently. My advice to the Leader of the Opposition is, do not let history repeat itself. Do not throw away the opportunity that we have as a country, to once and for all bring the crime monster to heal,” stressed Prime Minister Holness.

Speaking in Montego Bay, St. James on the weekend, Mr. Holness said while the security forces remain committed to the task the SOE cannot address the propensity [of criminals] to commit crimes.

“There are still violence producers sitting in waiting. We still have organized criminals who feel that the government doesn’t have the stick-to-itiveness [perseverance] to stay with the strategies put into fight crime that eventually we will call it off and then they will have free rein once again,” said Prime Minister Holness.

He also said that the SOE is not to be labelled a public relations exercise.

“We are actually using these extraordinary powers to degrade the capacity and remove the opportunity of the criminals,” stated Mr. Holness.

The Prime Minister further stated the Government is confident that, at the end of the use of extraordinary powers, the three main threats to the stability of the St. James economy would be eroded.

In the meantime Mr. Holness assured the residents of St. James that the Government will utilize all measures in law to stem crime.

“I wish to assure u the good [residents] of St. James that the government that I lead will find every single measure within the law to ensure that the fight against crime is not derailed with or without the support of the opposition. The support that really matters is your support and therefore I urge u to use your voice, use your social media, and use letters to editor, telephone calls to those you know, to ensure that political pressure is brought to bare on the Opposition to support your fight against crime. Let them feel the heat,” expressed Mr. Holness.

Peter Phillips PNP Leader460Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, told  a media briefing last Thursday, that "the State of Emergency powers were not intended by the framers of our constitution to be employed over a lengthy period of time."
 
Dr. Phillips signalled that the PNP would not support further extensions after the next request unless "their is some overwhelming reason presented for the consideration of the public."
 
Instead, he said the opposition wants to see a "clear-cut plan of action" that will ensure normal policing contains crime in St. James and in other parts of the country.
 
The Opposition Leader noted that while there is a high concentration of security forces in St. James and St. Catherine North, other areas are still being affected by high levels of crime.
 
"In South St. Andrew police division for example, we are seeing a 50 per cent increase in murders. In parts of Westmoreland, we are seeing again an upsurge of all these murders. We don't think it is sound policy to have this concentration in two areas while the rest of country and the citizens in the rest of the country are facing this intolerable increase in the levels of crime in areas," he asserted.  

 
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Last modified onMonday, 30 April 2018 21:00
  • Countries: Jamaica

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