National Security Minister says Efforts Under Way to Reverse Crime Trends


Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, stating that crime had become a major impediment to the country’s economic progress, placing Jamaican companies at a disadvantage against their competitors, has declared that efforts were under way to reverse the crime trend affecting the island.
“We must send a message that crime does not pay,” Minister Phillips said at the first of two crime fora titled, ‘The effects of Crime on Jamaica’, sponsored by the Gleaner Company Limited and Jamaica National Building Society at the Brooklyn Downtown Marriott, in New York, on Thursday (Nov. 6).
Accompanied by Lucius Thomas, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), in charge of crime, and Carl Williams, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in charge of Narcotics, Minister Phillips acknowledged the adverse effects of Jamaica’s high crime rate.
“Jamaica is a country with tremendous potential and we have the capacity for world class achievement,” the Minister said. “Crime has become a major impediment to our economic progress and has put our [Jamaican] companies at a competitive disadvantage,” he continued.
“We are confronting a problem that has worsened over the decades and we have to reverse this trend. I am confident that this year, as we did last year, that we will see a reduction in major crimes.it is possible to bring our crime rate to a tolerable level,” Minister Phillips stated.
DCP Thomas and SSP Williams both gave presentations highlighting the current situation in Jamaica and outlined a number of challenges facing the Jamaican law enforcement officials. Chief among them were large-scale ganja production, trade in illegal firearms, a growing drug abuse problem, influx of deportees and the movement of illegal migrants.
Minister Phillips spoke of the various measures introduced to reduce the crime problem, including the Anti-Crime Initiative, corruption prevention law as well as numerous international agreements to combat drug trafficking and other crimes. He also cited the introduction of equipment, such as the ion scan machine and the ‘go fast’ boats, which were recently donated to the Government, as evidence of the ongoing efforts in the war against crime.
The Minister explained that the police force was also undergoing reorganization around the principles of community policing. In addition, he also noted that the Ministry was actively involved in increasing the number of law enforcement personnel and improving the equipment and technology used to fight crime.
The Minister also made an earnest appeal to overseas Jamaicans to do their part in the war against crime. “We need you to share any information that you may have with us and encourage the authorities here to extend the hand of cooperation to an even greater degree,” the Minister said.
The well-received forum culminated in a question and answer session moderated by Earl Jarrett, Jamaica National Building Society’s General Manager.
Laura McNeil, Deputy Consul General to New York; Oliver Clarke, Chairman of the Gleaner Company Limited and Greta Bogues, Chief Executive Officer of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, also participated in the evening’s event.

JIS Social