JIS News

National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips has emphasised that the increased security measures to tackle crime in Montego Bay, St. James, would not affect that city’s tourism product.
“There is right now a very significant police presence in Montego Bay. It is not going to affect the tourism product at all; in fact it will enhance its safety and security. There are specific communities where the problem is concentrated and I don’t expect the (security) presence will be there in perpetuity, so I don’t think it will have any impact at all,” the Minister said.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Phillips said the security forces were determined to ensure that the few criminals are brought to justice.
“What is important and what we are determined to do is to ensure that the handful of criminals are identified, tracked down and brought to justice in the areas where they exist,” he added.
The National Security Minister said the security strategies would be intensified this year.
“We are going to intensify the implementation of the new strategies, especially in western Jamaica. We are going to be sending in some special teams, and in the meantime, there are some operations underway that will specifically focus on the people who we know are the source of the problems,” he said.
The Minister, who is in London for a series of meetings with British officials and agencies, said much of the discussions has been focussed on the implementation of the new Proceeds of Crime legislation.
“Essentially, we are here (in London) focussing on getting the proceeds of crime legislation implemented. We have just passed the legislation and institutions have to be set up, specifically the Assets Recovery Agency. And while we have taken steps already, we think there is a basis for us benefiting from the UK’s experience,” Dr. Phillips said.
The Minister also said the team was also looking at UK support in setting up the new National Independent Investigations Authority.
“We have also taken the opportunity to have discussion about the entire range of our co-operation in relation to law enforcement and security,” Dr. Phillips said.
The Minister and his team met with the Foreign Office, the Metropolitan Police Authority, and visited the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, the Assets Recovery Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Authority.