Speaking at today’s ‘National Crime & Violence Prevention Summit’ hosted by the parliamentary opposition PNP, Mitchell said "none of the countries that have achieved success in curtailing crime and violence have done so without national concensus on the solutions. None of those countries, have succeeded by only using repressive force or depriving their people of basic human rights."
"The nature of our democracy takes us down a road where, for the first two years of a government, the national objectives are honourable, are focused, are broad and are suited for the country; and when the pressure of meeting the election occur, those objectives become political objectives. We propose that in relation to crime, violence and corruption, that the objectives necessary to address those areas be taken out of the political hustings," he contended.
agreed that criminal violence and violence in the society needs a multifaceted response which cannot simply be treated as a matter of law enforcement and should embrace a National Consensus around agreed anti-crime measures.
A communiqué issued at the conclusion of today’s meeting, said “Participants agreed that the society needs urgent adjustments in several areas including aspects of our culture, community relations and empowerment, parenting support, much-needed legislation and police reform that has been left languishing for several years.”
“The meeting agreed that the reports on crime and violence dating back to the Wolfe Report and including the Report from the Commission of Enquiry on the Tivoli Incursion, the JCF strategic reports and others must be re-examined and the recommendations lifted and implemented as a matter of urgency.
“The meeting expressed strong support for a National Consensus around the agreed anti crime measures as put forward by the Private Sector Organisation which calls for Government, Opposition, Private Sector, civil society to collaborate on determining the framework for crime prevention, including committing to providing required extraordinary resources and monitoring the execution of a plan by an EPOC type body.
The communiqué pointed to the "acceptance by participants that any sustainable anti crime solution could not and should not include any long term suspension of Constitutional and civil rights."
The Summit benefited from presentations out of which other issues were identified, including:
- Addressing the long-term social and economic inequality facing individuals, communities and the nation.
- Anti-crime intervention strategies need to be as diverse as the varied nature of the drivers of violence and must be approached locally, regionally and internationally
- There is urgent need for changes in the system of public education including programmes of values and attitudes in schools.
- Communities across the island must be engaged in a process of social reengineering, including family life education, for the protection of all, especially the children and the vulnerable.
- Ensure enforcement of laws relating to public order, for example, anti-litter, road traffic, to instill a culture of compliance.
- Provide greater support, financial and otherwise, to entities engaged in violence interruption, such as PMI and Women's groups.
- Support for a Safety and Security programme for university students.
A full report from the Summit will be completed and circulated to all participants within two weeks.
The meeting of stakeholders hosted by the Parliamentary Opposition on crime and violence held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, under the banner ‘National Crime & Violence Prevention Summit,’ saw the participation of representatives of some 40 organizations from civil society, public sector, church, diplomatic corp and government.
- Countries: Jamaica