Hundreds Attend Consultation on Crime in the West


Hundreds of residents from western Jamaica participated in the Ministry of National Security’s first National Consultation on Crime, held at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in St. James on May 28, under the theme: ‘Together we can stop it’.
The consultation was led by the Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Major Richard Reece; Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Stewart Saunders and other top members of the Ministry and the Security Forces.
It was aimed at fostering increased participation of citizens in the fight against crime and violence.
Addressing the large turn-out of participants, the Minister said that the consultation was taking place at a critical time, when the world is going down a road it had never travelled before.
“Here in Jamaica, we are facing challenges that will require sacrifices and national unity, as we chart our course in an increasingly difficult environment. In order to survive and maintain economic and social stability in Jamaica, we will have to manage crime and violence effectively and create the environment in which we can attract investments and expand our economy. Tourism is at the heart of our economy and Montego Bay remains the leading tourism centre. We must therefore ensure that we protect Montego Bay and its environment from the type of worrying trend of criminality that we continue to witness,” Senator Nelson emphasised.
He argued that it was this vision that had brought the first public consultation on crime to the people of western Jamaica.
“I maintain that for too long we have sat in our offices and made prescriptions and imposed prescriptions on you the members of the communities, in order to solve the problem. I maintain that we must not only continue to make prescriptions but those prescriptions must of necessity include recognition of the concerns that you the citizens have. Those prescriptions must take into consideration, your suggestions and your identification of what is wrong with what we are doing and what you suggest we should do,” the Minister said.
He reiterated that the problems of crime and violence are challenging, but “overcome them we must, overcome them we will.”
“My presence here is to start the machinery, is to begin the dialogue, is to begin the initiation of that process to put in place for the law abiding people of Montego Bay and St. James at large, mechanisms to allow you to go about your legitimate business free from fear. My objective is to ensure that there is established, the kind of relationship between community and police … to ensure freedom and safety from crime and violence,” the Minister said.

JIS Social