Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, says the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and its leadership continues to enjoy the full confidence of the government, especially in the face of recent negative criticisms of its actions during operations in Western Kingston, in May 2010.
The Minister said that various media reports, editorials and commentaries have tried to question the integrity of the JDF and its leadership, mainly because they did not disclose the tactics and weaponry that they were using in the West Kingston operation.
"No security force in the world routinely discloses its choice of weaponry and tactics during an operation, and even thereafter, would be reluctant to unnecessarily disclose information that would render the future use of these tactics ineffective,” he said.
The Minister, who was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on July 17, said that if there were any specific cases of misconduct or inappropriate use of force, the security forces know that they will be held accountable for those actions.
Mr. Bunting reminded the House that May 2010 was “a watershed in our history,” when heavily armed criminals challenged the authority of the state. “They wanted to carve out a failed-state enclave inside Jamaica; a place where there was no law, other than their will,” he said.
He noted that it was the decisive actions of the national security and law enforcement agencies that restored the rule of law in West Kingston.
"This is one of the main reasons why we are now experiencing a significant reduction in our rates of violent crime,” the Minister said.
"Let this never be forgotten. If the security forces had failed, it may not have stopped at Tivoli. Other gangs could have emerged and attempted to seize control of their areas. People would have started moving their families and their assets to safety – outside of Jamaica; and eventually the nation would have paid a much higher price than it did,” he said.
By Andrea Braham