JIS News

Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips has said that Jamaicans needed to step up to the plate and become visible stakeholders, and be willing to unite in the fight against crime and violence.
Speaking recently at a community forum, held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester, the Minister said that to “upgrade and outfit” the Jamaica Constabulary force (JCF) machinery was not the long lasting solution to crime.
Dr. Phillips emphasised that the development of a “collective social conscience” was a major plank in the fight against crime.
“Community action has to be the order of the day, as the Police need to operate in unison with the information that citizens will provide,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that the task of “taming the tiger” of crime, violence, illegal drugs and guns was indeed a very formidable one.
“It will require partnership with the general population and it will involve all facets of our communities,” the Minister noted.
He also said that “even as we train and continue to increase the numbers, we also need to continue our efforts to use the most up-to-date technologies and to provide the equipment necessary for the members of the force to undertake their task, but as the Commissioner said, it is important to ensure that we have a force of men and women of the highest integrity, because if someone is paid by your tax dollars and instead of protecting you, they protect the criminal interests, then we have lost twice over.”
Dr. Phillips pointed out that this was why the effort to establish and bring into full operation the “professional standards branch” in the JCF was so important.
“It is being accorded the highest priority, because the JCF and the other security branches represent the final line of defence for the country. If it is not equal to the task, then our future will be compromised as a country,” he said.
Dr. Phillips mentioned a number of developments in the legislative process that should help in the campaign against crime.
“We are working on areas such as plea bargaining; we have in train a number of initiatives, which should help to speed up the adjudication process as well as other legislation that will allow for the separation of criminals from their ill-gotten gains… so that persons who are habitual criminals who have accumulated vast resources from criminality, must be separated from their wealth. The message must be clear that crime does not pay,” he said.