JIS News

National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips has said that there would be no letting-up of pressure on criminal elements, noting that increased focus would be placed on the “men of violence” in communities.
“We are going to sustain the pressure and we are going to diversify our focus and put the spotlight clearly on the main men of violence, who are to be held to account for this wave of homicides,” he stated.
The Minister, who was speaking to the British media, community and business leaders at the Jamaican High Commission in London this morning (Sept. 22), noted that anti-crime efforts, including the drug interdiction campaign, had resulted in a significant reduction in the flow of drugs into and out of the island.
He pointed out however, that the drug-fighting effort had taken up a lot of police resources and had generated an intensification of criminal conflicts within and between the criminal organizations, which no longer have drugs as a main source of income. “There has been a diversion of criminal action into organised extortion and turf wars and we see it in the conflicts and the growing number of homicides attributable to gang reprisals,” he stated.
He informed that to address the problem, the government was seeking to create alternative and legitimate opportunities for earning in these communities in addition to instituting social development programmes, through a number of interventions including the recently launched Community Security Initiative (CSI).
The programme, which is being funded through a