JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Council that the government was treating crime as a “public health epidemic”.
  • The partners commended the Minister on the holistic approach being adopted.
  • The Council approved the membership of the Partnership’s Governance Committee.

The National Partnership Council under the chairmanship of Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has held its first meeting for 2014 as it continues its focus on strategies to achieve the targets established in the Partnership for Jamaica Agreement.

The meeting held last Thursday (July 16) received an update on strategies for crime reduction from the Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting.

Minister Bunting informed the Council that the government was treating crime as a “public health epidemic”, requiring an appropriately structured and coordinated, multi-sectoral response, including community development, community policing, crime-related legislation, enhancement of the capacity and mobility of the security-forces, justice reform and a focus on reorienting “at-risk” youth. These goals, he said were best achieved with involvement by groups from churches, communities, civil society and private businesses.

The partners commended the Minister on the holistic approach being adopted and gave their commitment to participate in structured and collaborative approaches to crime reduction.

The Council approved the membership of the Partnership’s Governance Committee — Rev. Lenworth Anglin, Mrs. Hyacinth Lindsay and Mrs. Donna Parchment, which is dedicated to ensuring that partners are held accountable to the principles of the partnership code of conduct.

The National Partnership Council considered the case of the reinstatement of State Minister Richard Azan to the Ministry of Transport Works and Housing. After a frank dialogue conducted in the spirit of the partnership agreement, there was consensus that lessons had been learnt with respect to the importance of transparency, accountability, good governance and the need for improved delivery of public services.

The meeting was updated on regional consultation activities and mandated that the consultative process continue with a greater focus on community mobilisation.

The membership of the National Partnership Council comprises representatives of academia, civil society, private sector, labour, the opposition and the government. In July 2013, the private sector, government, private sector and civil society representatives on the Council signed the Partnership for Jamaica Agreement towards meeting targets in fiscal consolidation, rule of law, ease of doing business and employment, energy diversification and economic growth.