Speaking at the OPM Live Canada townhall meeting at the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre Mississauga, Ontario Canada last night (June 7) the Prime Minister underscored the Government’s firm commitment to decisively address crime in Jamaica.
Prime Minister Holness said the Government is making incremental gains in tackling crime through measures which have been implemented in some crime hotspots in Jamaica.
He said the Government is taking steps to deal with crime for the long-term benefit of all Jamaicans.
“We have taken decisive and instrumental measures which show that the Government is serious about tackling crime. All major crimes are down compared to the same period last year and we will continue to see a reduction in crime,” noted Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister pointed out to members of the diaspora in Canada that there is no overnight solution to crime and explained that it will take a long-term commitment to solve it.
“Firstly we cannot look at crime in isolation. We have developed a ‘Plan Secure Jamaica’. A part of the crime problem is that the national security is weak. So we are doing the things necessary to secure our border. We are doing the things necessary to improve the integrity of law enforcement which is very important to restore the trust between the citizens and the police.
"We are doing quite a bit of human rights training, polygraphing of policemen and women and we are doing a series of other initiatives. What we are now seeing after two years is that the results of all crimes including murders are trending downwards,” explained Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister used the opportunity to express distress at the killing of two Canadian citizens in the parish of St. Thomas recently. He also expressed gratitude to the police in acting swiftly which led to charges being laid.
Prime Minister Holness also stressed his position on the matter of corporal punishment. He said the matter is an on-going conversation however his position is clear.
“We should take a non-violent approach to resolving conflict If we are to create a society that rejects violence in general, we have to make the link from where it starts to where it ends up. My job is to move the society from where we are, to where we want to be. Where I stand is at the intersection of where we see ourselves to where we are now,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness is scheduled to meet today Friday June 8 with the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette at her official residence at La Citadelle de Quebec City.
The Prime Minister will wrap up his official working visit to Canada on Saturday when he addresses the leaders at the G7 Outreach Session at Le Manoir Richelieu in Charlevoix, Quebec.
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