He told the house that it “took us decades to get here and it will not be addressed overnight," and "will require significant inputs from all facets of our society to sustainably address the problem."
He added that there was a significant level of consensus that sustainable crime reduction will require fundamental changes along with significant investments in our social and educational systems.
The minister used the opportunity to explain that of the 197 people taken into custody so far, 10 are on the country's most wanted list and 83 are connected to gangs.
He explained that there are currently 178 individuals still in custody, and some of them are the subject of further investigations.
Minister Montague told Parliament that as criminal elements flee St James to neighbouring parishes in light of the state of emergency, operations are being conducted across the country to apprehend wanted men.
He said so far, 18 people were detained in St Catherine North and one in St Catherine South, adding that operations have been launched in St Ann, St Mary and Westmoreland.
He made of note of Portmore, St Catherine which has been identified as a likely area where displaced criminals are likely to seek shelter.
As such he said a joint team from CTOC Central, the Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT) and Mobile Reserve conducted targeted raids on several premises. No one was however apprehended.
The Security Minister told Parliament that over the past couple months the security forces have discovered a number of 'altars' to facilitate devil worshipping in sections of the island.
“Some people are playing with things they know nothing about and open gates they cannot close. Sir, the trend is disturbing and must be stopped.”
Montague said that the discovery of devil worshipping altars is a most dangerous trend and the clergy is also disturbed by the occurrence.
He added that the savagery, the brutality and horrific nature of some crimes point to sacrifices to these evil forces.
He used the opportunity to apologise for comments made in jest over a year ago that his uncle is an “obeah man”.
“It was meant to be a joke, but many persons were not amused. They were offended and rightly so.
I want to apologise for the remark and the offensiveness it has caused and to give the assurance and publicly state that I am not into devil or evil worship in no way shape or form,” he told Parliament.
“I worship one God!” he said adding “the one and only true God that reigns, forgives and sustains.”
He further added, “I am not into devil worship."
- Countries: Jamaica