JIS News

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  • Within a matter of days, the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Bill, popularly called the ‘anti-gang’ legislation, is expected to become law.
  • Minister Bunting added that he is “anxiously awaiting the application of this new law” by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and other divisions.
  • The Minister emphasised that the legislation is urgently needed to deter individuals from recruiting persons (into gangs) or turning to a life of crime.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, is optimistic that within a matter of days, the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Bill, popularly called the ‘anti-gang’ legislation, will become law.

“I have my Legal Officer calling the Governor-General’s office every day to find out how soon he will assent to the legislation, because the Parliamentary side of it is complete and I expect that we will get his assent no later than this week,” he said

The Minister added that he is “anxiously awaiting the application of this new law” by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and other divisions, units and branches within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Mr. Bunting was speaking at the handing over of 13 motorcycles and two pick-ups to the JCF, at the Commissioner’s office in Kingston, on March 24.

The Minister emphasised that the legislation is urgently needed to deter individuals from recruiting persons (into gangs) or turning to a life of crime.

“It must be the wickedest and vilest adult who would go and recruit 13 or 14 year-old children into gangs and then task them with murdering other children and adults,” he said.

The Bill, which makes it an offence to recruit a child to be a part of a criminal organisation, stipulates that any person found guilty of this offence could face a period of imprisonment of up to 25 years.

It also makes provision for the disruption and suppression of criminal organisations and outlines offences, in order to restore a sense of security in the Jamaican society and strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with crime effectively.

According to the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons, the Bill seeks to prohibit persons from: establishing a criminal organisation; taking part in, or participating in a criminal organisation; providing or obtaining a benefit from a criminal organisation; and harbouring or concealing a participant in a criminal organisation.

The Bill was passed in the House of Representatives on February 18 and in the Senate on March 7.