JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller says crime robs citizens “of opportunities for employment and social upliftment.”
  • Dr. Phillips said young people involved in crime can and must be reclaimed to become useful, productive and responsible citizens.
  • The strategy, which was approved by Cabinet in October 2013, recognises that security requires a multi-faceted approach, involving both state and non-state partners.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is calling on communities to “stand up” against crime.

She says crime robs citizens “of opportunities for employment and social upliftment.”

The Prime Minister was speaking in a video message at the ‘Unite for Change’ National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, held on January 30 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

She stressed the need for unity in the fight against crime, noting that there can be no “us and them” in crime fighting. “We are all in this together,” she added.

“Mothers must not provide safe havens for their children, who are criminals, sisters must not turn a blind eye to their brothers involved in crime, fathers must be firm enough to steer wayward sons away from a life of crime. Stand up for your communities,” she stated.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, who delivered the keynote address, said young people involved in crime can and must be reclaimed to become useful, productive and responsible citizens.

He said while the challenge of crime fighting is difficult “there is no doubt that when we succeed in transforming our economic fortunes, this will enable more young people to find gainful employment and that, in and of itself, will make a tremendous contribution to strengthening the values, habits and the behaviours that make for positive upstanding citizens.”

Dr. Phillips endorsed the ‘Unite for Change’ initiative, being spearheaded by the National Security Ministry, which is aimed at tackling the nation’s crime problem.

The strategy, which was approved by Cabinet in October 2013, recognises that security requires a multi-faceted approach, involving both state and non-state partners.

Other speakers at the forum included Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna; Epidemiologist and innovator in violence reduction, Dr. Gary Slutkin; and leading voice on violence prevention and family policy in the United States, Jack Calhoun.

The forum was attended by some 1,000 Jamaicans including students from high schools and tertiary institutions across the islands, and representatives of the private sector and faith-based organisations.