JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has promised a more aggressive approach to removing criminal “dons” and their armed gangs from communities.
Senator Nelson said that he will be pursuing more aggressive use of the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act to separate both “dons and donettes” from their ” ill-gotten wealth”, as well as a more intensive approach against organised criminal gangs.
He also assured the public that despite the issues surrounding the status of the frozen 7 per cent pay increase for the police, the vast majority of police remain “loyal, committed dedicated persons”, ready to carry out their duties, unconditionally.
Senator Nelson was facing the Media for the first time since his appointment in April to replace Colonel Trevor MacMillan as Minister of National Security, on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Media Forum, which was broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica(PBCJ) cable television channel last night (Thursday May 21).
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne, also appeared on the programme outlining some of the steps she has taken, since 2007, to speed up court trials and to make the justice system more accessible and meaningful for the public, as well as on human rights issues.
Senator Nelson said that his Ministry will be working with the Ministry of Justice to ensure effective implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act, which was passed by Parliament in 2007 to provide for the forfeiture, through the courts, of property and wealth accumulated but cannot be explained by legitimate activity.
He said that 22 cases have been pursued under the Act so far, of which three have been successfully concluded and assets seized, while 19 are still being pursued.
Despite this, however, Senator Nelson admitted, “Government has not been aggressively pursuing the competence that we have under this piece of legislation to really attack the criminal leaders where it hurts. I think that the time has come for us to aggressively pursue the implementation of things like this legislation,” he committed.
“Whether these criminal leaders are in garrison communities or in communities that are just overrun by crime, I am sure this approach is going to be effective,” he assured the media.
He said that it is important that the “dons or donettes” are not allowed to live a life of opulence and luxury, “which many of them are living and flaunting in our faces.”
He said that while efforts will be continued to use social intervention methods, including employment, to lure young persons from more loosely knit groups on street corners, the approach has to be more intensive for the organised gangs.
“They must be separated from their communities: You have to put up a wall between them and the communities,” he said.
‘I believe, and I am a convict to the position that, if a person has an illegal gun with the intent of killing, the intent of threatening the lives and property of decent, law-abiding citizens, I maintain that person has forfeited his or her right to live among decent citizens,” he stated.
“I intend to launch an assault, an unrelenting assault against those persons, they must be removed from the community. They do not deserve to live in a society. They have broken the rules of society and they must be expunged from society,” he said.
Senator Nelson explained that being expunged did not necessarily mean being killed, but also removed from operating within the society.