At a erecent meeting of the NSC, which was attended by the Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Mr. Fitz Jackson, General Anderson updated the Council on the progress of the various technology projects currently being pursued by the JCF including the timelines for implementation.
He said these projects would deliver better communications, increase surveillance and enhance accountability.
The Commissioner also noted that the first specially trained Quick Response team was launched in St James two weeks ago and is already reaping success.
The work of the JCF in bringing order to Half-Way-Tree was also highlighted with a dedicated team and additional technology to be deployed. Prime Minister Andrew Holness reiterated the Government’s Zero Tolerance Policy to addressing disorder in public spaces and lawlessness on the nation’s roads.
The intention is to start with Half-Way-Tree as the first effectively maintained Zero Tolerance Zone, where all members of the public who use this critical city-centre can conduct their business securely, traverse quickly, and have a sense of pride and dignity in their main urban public space.
The Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, reported on the activities of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), including the increased deployment of soldiers to increase support in security operations with the JCF.
General Meade also reported that the JDF is advanced in its planning for the declaration of more communities under the Zones of Special Operations. Prime Minister Holness indicated that the Government would be ready to declare more Zones of Special Operations early next year.
The NSC discussed the need to continue the process of driving down the murder rate through continued application of enhanced security measures. This would include the continuation of the States of Public Emergency and the creation of new Zones of Special Operations. This was deemed necessary even as all of the other legislative, technology, and security force development plans are being implemented.
The Prime Minister advised that he will hold further talks with the Security Chiefs to make the final decision. He noted that though the measures were implemented this year with a shorter time period they had successfully contained crime in line with last year’s figures. He also signaled the need for the continuation of the measures as the conditions underlying the emergency still existed.
The need for special legislation for enhanced security measures was also discussed and the Attorney General Mrs. Marlene Malahoo Forte, QC, gave an update on progress towards finalizing the elements of such a legislation.
At Thursday’s regular monthly meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), the Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Mr. Fitz Jackson asked for general updates on major investigations being undertaken by MOCA and the JCF.
The Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang, discussed advances made in several key anti-corruption legislations including Regulations for the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) which is to be tabled early next year.
On regional matters, Prime Minister Holness expressed concern regarding the ongoing civil unrest in neighbouring Haiti and the Council was informed that the Government is monitoring the situation and is prepared for any eventualities.
- Countries: Jamaica