Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says crucial legislation will be enacted with urgency to tackle gun crimes and other criminal activities.
He said among them is a review of the four-year anti-gang law and a modern legislation dealing with illegal firearms, so that the police can be well equipped to stem organised criminal gangs and ensure safety for the citizens who are fearful of crime monsters.
“Gangs and guns have been the primary tools of individuals involved in killing Jamaicans for over 40 years, yet we don’t have a modern Firearm Act. I will get it through Parliament in this Parliamentary year, which means by March,” the Minister said, while addressing the Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA) 2020 awards ceremony, held on November 25, at the Office of the Police Commissioner in St. Andrew.
Pointing out that gangs are responsible for most of the criminal activities on the island, the Minister said as their murderous acts deepen, they are also attacking law enforcement agents and undermining institutions, as they are “well resourced”.
“And they are working very hard to damage our society. We are committed to bring forward as quickly as possible, during this term, the kind of legislation to provide the police with adequate legislative tools to get the job done,” he said.
The Minister told his audience that it is critically important to achieve a sustainable reduction in “violent criminality” by providing the police with the tools required to dent the problem of gangs and their activities.
While urging community members to stand against criminality, Minister Chang asserted that the Administration will continue to provide the support and investment “necessary” to build up the competencies and capability of police officers.
“Now, more than ever, we must all come out in strong condemnation against all forms of crime and violence. We must give our full support to the work of the police. It is our responsibility as a country and as a people. This Government is unwavering in our support to the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” the Minister said.
He assured that ongoing support and investments will be made for the police to have tactical, technological and scientific tools that are necessary for crime-fighting.
Several police stations in Area 5 were awarded at the function for outstanding service in the PCOA Transforming Our Police Service (TOPS) initiative.