• JIS News

    Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has noted that Jamaicans need to work together to find new approaches to fight the social issue of crime that is affecting the country.
    Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was speaking in the 2010/11 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives Thursday (April 15), assured the Government of the Opposition’s cooperation in dealing with the issue.
    “You can depend on our word. We will not make crime a political football. Our word is our bond. We commit to an open and objective partnership with the Government so that, collectively and on the people’s behalf, we can finally forge an alliance of all law-abiding citizens and entities to restore safety and security across all the communities,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
    She observed that that crime “robs” the country of seven per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
    “Crime increases the number of trauma cases in our hospitals, it reduces the productivity of businesses and it affects the ability of our children to learn. We are therefore recommending that we take time to discuss, in Parliament, the levels of crime in the country and the actions that as a people, we must take,” she said.
    She said that Parliamentarians should send a strong signal to the country that they are united on the critical issue, and that this should be done, in addition to the pending debates on the Crime Bills.
    “This must not just be a one-time affair, but a permanent agenda item of the parliamentary calendar. We must receive quarterly reports on the progress and agree to the adjustments and the resources required to solving the problem of crime,” she added.
    Mrs. Simpson Miller said that in addition to human resource development, the application of technology and new techniques in crime fighting was the way to go. She added that included in any community-based strategy to solve crime, should be a ‘rescue mission programme’ to target at-risk youth.
    She said that there was a need to rescue youth who are prime candidates for recruitment by criminals, as well as those who are already in the clutches of criminals.
    “We must rescue them from the fringes of society, and facilitate suitable alternatives that will see them reintegrated into the formal society. We must bring them into a productive life. We must show them that there is another way, a better way,”
    Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

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