Prime Minister Satisfied With Conduct of Security Forces

Photo: Garwin Davis Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (right) interacts with residents during a tour of sections of Montego Bay, St. James on January 27.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he is satisfied that the security forces have not been abusing the extraordinary powers they currently have, under the State of Public Emergency now in effect in St. James.
  • “I am here because I wanted to visit and see first-hand the condition of the detainees. The weak point in any state of emergency…in any exercise of extraordinary power is how the citizen is treated.
  • The Prime Minister said it is clear that during his visit with the detainees that the security forces have been behaving in an exemplary manner, noting that many of them have been processed and released.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he is satisfied that the security forces have not been abusing the extraordinary powers they currently have, under the State of Public Emergency now in effect in St. James.

He noted that while accommodations for the detainees are not the best, there was nothing to suggest that the rights of citizens are being violated.

“I am here because I wanted to visit and see first-hand the condition of the detainees. The weak point in any state of emergency…in any exercise of extraordinary power is how the citizen is treated.

So far, the citizens have expressed to me their satisfaction with the operations of the security forces,” Prime Minister Holness said.

He was addressing the media at the Freeport Police Station in St. James on January 27, following a tour of sections of Montego Bay.

The Prime Minister said it is clear that during his visit with the detainees that the security forces have been behaving in an exemplary manner, noting that many of them have been processed and released.

“We are not using detention as a wholesale tool of punishment. The detention is done where necessary and for strategic purposes. I myself interacted and had a brief conversation with some of the detainees and I have not heard one complaint of abuse which is also a testament to how the security forces have been handling themselves in a professional way,” the Prime Minister added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness reiterated that the decision to declare a State of Public Emergency in St. James was endorsed by a wide cross section of the society.

“The crime problem that we face is not one that will be solved by having the security forces always present in every corner. It will be solved by the person who witnesses a crime, to have the confidence to share that information with the security forces. That means building that level of trust,” he stated.

Prime Minister Holness stated that residents of Montego Bay, now have a unique opportunity to play their part in giving the security forces information and telling what they know so the communities can be rid of the guns.

“You now have this opportunity…let’s work together. We now have a reward programme where persons are paid for providing information, so please take advantage of this and provide the information where we can save our communities and rid the streets of the guns,” he stressed.

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