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Speech
Minister of National Security, the Hon. Peter Bunting, M.P.

The mandate of the Ministry of National Security… broadly speaking… is to create an environment of safety and security for our citizens; to protect our borders—the maritime and territorial space; to prevent the trafficking of narcotics and other contraband; to regulate the use of firearms; and to manage the correctional system.

Crime has had a very negative impact on our national development for the last four decades.The Planning Institute of Jamaicahas stated that the principal obstacles to rapid growth and development in Jamaica are crime and corruption. During the preparation of the 2012 National Security Policy, it was estimated that our GDP would be between three times and ten times its current size (depending on the assumptions), had we not had an exceptionally high crime rate over the past four decades. And, the economic impact pales when compared to the grief, pain, and suffering caused to the victims, their families, and their communities.

A graph of the number of homicides per year over the last four decades shows a seemingly inexorable increase until 2010. However, as a consequence of the May 2010 operation to extradite Christopher Coke; and, the continued anti-gang operationsby the Security Forces in the succeeding months, there was a large reduction in murders for approximately one year. But, by the second half of 2011, murders were again on the rise…as gangs regrouped, and the ability of the resource-stretched Security Forces to maintain the intensity of operations waned.

In the 18 months since this Administration has been in office, we have worked hard to achieve a sustained reduction in crime, albeit at a slower rate than in the immediate post May 2010 period. More importantly, we have been laying the foundations for sustained and continuing long-term improvements…DOWNLOAD ENTIRE SPEECH