PM said his administration has done a very good job , managing Ja crime.He defend Gugu , Chang,Meade
PM said his administration has done a very good job , managing Ja crime.He defend Gugu , Chang, Meade
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is insisting that his Administration has done “a very good job” in managing the country’s crime problem despite a more than 10 per cent increase in the murder rate this year when compared to the corresponding period in 2020.
Holness has also defended the stewardship of the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson; the retiring Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade; and the Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang.
“The Commissioner of Police, the Minister of National Security, the Chief of Defence Staff have all been doing, in my judgment and grading, a very good job with the resources [that they have] and the particular circumstances, which are in some instances, unique to Jamaica and very extreme…”said Holness.
He made the comment on Sunday as he responded to questions from journalists at a Jamaica House press conference where he announced the resumption of States of Emergency [SOEs] in seven police divisions across five parishes. The prime minister’s announcement of the reinstated SOEs came came hours after it was telegraphed in several Whatsapp groups on Saturday evening that the emergency measure was being reintroduced.
SOEs were discontinued the day before Nomination Day in August last year, ahead of the September 3 general election. A subsequent Supreme Court ruling in September 2020 determined that aspects of the SOEs were in breach of the constitutional rights of detainees after five men successfully challenged their protracted detention. Certain orders issued by the security minister were also found to be in breach of the Emergency Powers Act which was recently amended to allow for the resumption of the SOEs. The matter is still before the Court of Appeal as the government challenged the Supreme Court ruling.
While making the point that his Administration has done an overall good job of managing the crime problem, Holness argued that there are however, some issues that are over and above the capacity of regular law enforcement to address.
“This is not a new point that I have made and this is not a point to be taken in a political way. There are circumstances that whoever is the government, whichever government, the nature of our crime and the nature of our violence is such that it is over and above the capacity of the existing institutions of the state to address”.
According to the prime minister, the government has been in a political debate, particularly with the parliamentary Opposition “regarding how we can increase the immediate capacity of the state to respond to the scale of the increase in crime and the nature of the violence in crime”.
“We have pioneered the use of the SOE in responding to what can only be described as a national emergency,” he emphasized.
Holness argued that “Until we recognize that violence is similar in nature to a pandemic, to a disease, and we agree that the same principle that we have applied in the pandemic where we declare it an emergency and we all as one society dealt with it, until we recognize that then we’re going to continue to ask the police to solve a problem that has started in the breakdown of our families, and our homes and communities and national leadership and the degeneration of morality and civility in the society”.
The prime minister highlighted that the government has put in place a commission to study the issue of violence and advise it “as to some of the things that we can do and we’ve also put in place the commission to reform our education system”.
“These are two important planks of the social reform that is necessary not just to enable us to deal with the crime problem, which the police are dealing with…the issue that we have is a violence problem which you’re seeing in the ultimate expression of violence which is murder…we are in an emergency with this matter”.