Do Not Let History Repeat Itself – PM Holness

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will not give up its strategic intent to combat crime in the country.
  • His comment follows the Opposition’s position not to support the extension of the St. James State of Public Emergency beyond the current request to be brought to Parliament.
  • He said the Government is confident that at the end of the use of the extraordinary powers, the three main threats to the stability of the St. James economy (guns, gangs and drugs) would be eroded.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will not give up its strategic intent to combat crime in the country.

His comment follows the Opposition’s position not to support the extension of the St. James State of Public Emergency 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 we have as a country, to once and for all bring the crime monster (under control),” said the Prime Minister.

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

“There are still violence producers sitting and 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 in to fight crime, and that eventually we will call it off and then they will have free rein once again,” said the Prime Minister.

Mr. Holness emphasised that the State of Emergency 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,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the Government is confident that at the end of the use of the extraordinary powers, the three main threats to the stability of the St. James economy (guns, gangs and drugs) 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 you the good [citizens] of St. James that the Government 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,” he said.

“The support that really matters is your support and therefore I urge you to use your voice, your social media, letters to the Editor, telephone calls to those you know, to ensure that political pressure is brought to bear on the Opposition to support your fight against crime. Let them feel the heat,” Mr. Holness said.

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