Four major pieces of security legislation will be brought to Parliament this year to strengthen the country’s capacity to fight crime.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, during her contribution to the 2013/14 Budget Debate in Gordon House on Tuesday, April 30.
Also, as part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce the incidences of violence in the country, Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that the Community Renewal Programme is being implemented in 100 volatile and vulnerable communities across Jamaica.
The programme seeks to promote interventions aimed at building capacity for self empowerment at the individual and community levels in the targeted areas.
Mrs. Simpson Miller stated that the Government has been working to bolster its ability to effectively fight crime by improving the “capacity of the nation’s security apparatus”.
“More than $1.2 billion was spent last year to improve the fleet of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and correctional services; refurbish and construct police stations-including the state-of-the-art Falmouth Police Station; and upgrade the Police Academy at Twickenham Park,” she announced.
Mrs. Simpson Miller further noted that more than $2 billion has been allocated to bolster the operational capabilities of the JDF and the JCF this year, adding that significant work has been done by the Ministry of National Security and the JCF “as we move towards implementing the recommendations of the JCF Strategic Review.”
“In order to strengthen our capacity to respond, the Government fast-tracked the passage of key legislation to make new provisions for offences related to lottery scams, and other fraudulent transactions,” the Prime Minister added.
Despite these advancements, Mrs. Simpson Miller stressed that “there is more to be done. We must continue to increase the use of science and technology as part of our crime fighting arsenal. We must improve the relationship between our citizens and the security forces, and we must continue to educate and train our people to be the best that they can be”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller delivered her presentation under the theme: ‘Jamaica: Going for Growth and Development- Unleashing Our Potential’.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter