Private Sector Leaders Support Zones of Special Operations Bill

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Government Senator, Don Wehby (standing), emphasises a point during Friday’s (July 7) debate on the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017, during the Senate’s sitting at Gordon House. Others in the background (from left) are: Government Senators, Councillor Delroy Williams, and Charles Sinclair.

Story Highlights

  • Government Senator, Don Wehby, says leaders of several private sector organisations have indicated their support for the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017.
  • These, he said, include the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ); Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC); Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA); and Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA).
  • Senator Wehby, who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited, said in order for Jamaica to succeed in the fight against crime “all hands have to be on deck” as “the Government cannot fix the problem alone.”

Government Senator, Don Wehby, says leaders of several private sector organisations have indicated their support for the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017.

These, he said, include the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ); Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC); Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA); and Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA).

“I feel very passionate and strong about this Bill and on my own initiative, I have spoken to all those…leaders (about it). I am happy to say that all of them unanimously support this Bill and are anxious to see it implemented. What that is saying (is) it’s time for action,” he said.

Senator Wehby was making his contribution to the debate on the Bill in the Upper House on Friday (July 7), which was passed with 13 amendments.

He said that the private sector now “needs to put our money where our mouth is” and take the requisite action to reflect that support.

“As a first step, I am imploring those who spoke to me to…start to think how they, in their respective businesses and in the communities that they operate can positively impact the implementation of this Bill,” he said.

Senator Wehby, who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited, said in order for Jamaica to succeed in the fight against crime “all hands have to be on deck” as “the Government cannot fix the problem alone.”

“We have to face the problem with a crisis management response, which means going above and beyond the efforts we have already made. I stand as a leader of the private sector to provide support for any further social intervention programme(s) that will be implemented,” he noted.

Senator Wehby also recommitted his support for the PSOJ’s ‘Crime Stop’ initiative, which he said, has been doing a good job in assisting the police in making breakthroughs with difficult cases.

The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017 will give members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Jamaica

Defence Force (JDF) certain essential powers required to address serious crimes while upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

It will also facilitate the implementation of key social interventions in communities adversely affected by crime and violence, among other provisions.

The House of Representatives approved the Bill on June 28 with 18 revisions.

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