JIS News

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  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Administration will continue to pursue legislative measures to effectively investigate, pursue and apprehend individuals for whom there is strong evidence of gang activity.
  • “It is our position as a Government that there must be specific provisions within the law for the apprehension of these types of complex, organised criminality,” he said.
  • “Gangs take lives. When our youngsters become involved with gangs, they oftentimes meet what is likely to be an early death. Gangs rob mothers of their sons, rob young children of their fathers and rob communities of positive contributors to its social life. This must end,” he stressed.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Administration will continue to pursue legislative measures to effectively investigate, pursue and apprehend individuals for whom there is strong evidence of gang activity.

“It is our position as a Government that there must be specific provisions within the law for the apprehension of these types of complex, organised criminality,” he said.

“Gangs take lives. When our youngsters become involved with gangs, they oftentimes meet what is likely to be an early death. Gangs rob mothers of their sons, rob young children of their fathers and rob communities of positive contributors to its social life. This must end,” he stressed.

Dr. Chang was addressing National Integrity Action’s (NIA) training seminar for Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) investigators at the Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort in St. Ann on Friday (September 21).

He cited the current review of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and amendments being pursued to the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act (2013), popularly called the anti-gang law, as two legislative measures being undertaken to ensure more efficient investigations and greater prosecutorial outcomes.

Dr. Chang said the work being done at the Ministry “to comprehensively review” the anti-gang law is expected to be ready for presentation to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel by the end of this calendar year.

“In conjunction with these important legislative developments, specific attention is being given to the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) and the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) in their efforts to intervene in communities where at-risk youths are exposed to gang violence and recruitment by gangs,” the Minister informed.

“Social-intervention programmes that target pre-high-school-age children in volatile communities are being pursued as a preventative approach to tackling gangs. These social-intervention programmes work in tandem with our security forces,” he noted further.

Dr. Chang acknowledged the strides made by the JCF, particularly the work of C-TOC, in the disassembling of several gangs in recent times. He cited the continued downward trend in major crimes, with an almost 20 per cent decrease since the start of the year, as a tangible commitment of the security forces “to stave off the destructive forces of gangs”.

“The Ministry of National Security remains resolute in enhancing policing and to supporting the legislative framework required to achieve the prosecutorial outcomes desired,” he said.

The Minister commended the NIA for the “hosting of this important information-sharing engagement” in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice’s Justice Training Institute (JTI), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) of the JCF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among other partners.

“We engage around a grave and serious issue that must be resolved. But we deliberate with the commitment of this Government to take the tough decisions to root out crime,” he said.