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Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, says there is need for a completely new framework of law enforcement, given the rapidly evolving changes being faced by the country’s security, policing, law enforcement and justice systems.

Minister Bunting was making his presentation during the Sectoral Debate on July 17 in the House of Representatives.

The Minister said criminals are using modern cyber-technology and psychological tactics and they are becoming increasingly innovative, developing new forms of crime, and expanding their international cooperation.

“It is clear that incremental adjustments to the way we do things will not provide an adequate response,” Minister Bunting said.

He noted that the new framework should be based on “transparency, trust, and credibility; strong measures against gangs, major criminals and the people, who facilitate criminal operations; structuring of the security organisations to maximize their adaptability and effectiveness; cooperation of all agencies of government in crime prevention; and accelerating the pace of the judicial process."

Minister Bunting reported that since the beginning of the year, the Ministry has been actively collaborating with the National Security Policy Coordination Unit in the Cabinet Office to develop a 2012 National Security Policy.  

The final draft of this policy is now complete and has been circulated to the members of the National Security Council (NSC), and the Opposition Spokesman on National Security, he said. 

“The new policy outlines five key reforms, which together constitute a strategic, comprehensive and cohesive approach, which addresses all the elements of the crime fighting machinery,” the Minister stated.

He outlined the reforms as: removing the profit from crime; reforming the justice system; policing by consent; dismantling gangs and focusing on at-risk individuals and communities.

The Minister reported that the updated framework ranks the major threats to Jamaica’s national security in four tiers. The first tier, which will be given top priority, includes high-impact, high probability threats, and the clear and present dangers, including threats such as organized crime, gangs, corruption, and weaknesses in the judicial system. 

Tier two, he said, addresses high-impact, low probability threats, such as a terrorist attack or Mexican drug cartel expansion into the Caribbean. Tier 3 includes high-probability, low impact threats, while the final tier includes low-probability, low impact threats such as water security.

 

By Andrea Braham