Security Ministry Working to Strengthen Intelligence Gathering

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, highlights a point while addressing a post-Sectoral press briefing at his Oxford Road offices in New Kingston on Wednesday (June 13).

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says his Ministry is working to put strategies in place to enable quick and efficient intelligence gathering to assist in crime-fighting.
  • “We have to begin to amend our legislation, where necessary, to ensure we can acquire information (in) real time from sectors (such as)… telecommunications (and) other areas of real-time monitoring without infringing on your basic right to privacy,” he said.
  • He argued that the security challenges facing the country are varied and complex, ranging from petty street crime to highly organised activities, and require that the intelligence framework be more effective, flexible and responsive.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says his Ministry is working to put strategies in place to enable quick and efficient intelligence gathering to assist in crime-fighting.

“We have to begin to amend our legislation, where necessary, to ensure we can acquire information (in) real time from sectors (such as)… telecommunications (and) other areas of real-time monitoring without infringing on your basic right to privacy,” he said.

Dr. Chang was addressing a post-Sectoral Debate press briefing at his Oxford Road Offices in New Kingston on Wednesday (June 13).

He argued that the security challenges facing the country are varied and complex, ranging from petty street crime to highly organised activities, and require that the intelligence framework be more effective, flexible and responsive.

“Crime-fighting is no longer (just) about organising a police squad, going downtown, chasing down some guys on the ‘street side’. It’s way beyond that level now, and we have to build that security architecture to be much more intelligent, much more sensitive, and (involve) a much broader context than just dealing with hardcore crimes,” he pointed out.

“That’s why I have avoided saying we have a one-, two- or three-point (crime) plan,” the National Security Minister said, stressing that “some of the activities that the security forces have to respond to cannot be pinned down to A, B, C, D.”

Dr. Chang, in the Sectoral Debate presentation on June 12, outlined a comprehensive approach to national security, which is focused on: public order and law enforcement; strong anti-gang strategies; anti-corruption measures; targeted social-intervention initiatives in volatile communities; and transformation of the police force into a modern service.

He said that the Government fully recognises the challenges and its responsibility to maintain law and order, protect Jamaica against internal and external threats, ensure the safety of the country’s borders and punish and rehabilitate offenders.

He noted that a key area of priority is restoring public order and safety, which begins with addressing the issue of illegal vending and taxi stands and other activities that have overwhelmed public spaces.

“If you give a man a chance to break the law, from squatting to illegal vending, (this) actually retards the country’s development and impairs growth and basically affects the entire society… . We are going to maintain a very strong position in restoring public order in our society without fear of favour,” Dr. Chang said.

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