Sat | Jan 19, 2019

JMA supports state of emergency for St. James

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 2:19 PM
Joint police-military operation underway in Flanker, St James.
Metry Seaga

The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) has come out in full support of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ declaration of a state of emergency in St. James.

“The escalation of violent criminal activities is taxing on the entire country, discouraging both domestic and foreign investments, reducing competitiveness, and resulting in the reallocation of critical resources,” the JMA said in a release a short while ago.

“Without firm and resolute measures to combat this disease of crime, all other efforts to achieve economic growth will be futile, and Vision 2030 will remain a dream,” it said.

The JMA said “this shameless attack on our society needs to end, and we agree that St. James, which recorded the highest number of murders in 2017, is the ideal place to start.”

However, both the Government and parliamentary Opposition need to have consensus on the initiatives and outcomes, “and it is with this in mind, and a great sense of urgency, that the JMA is calling on the Opposition to stand by the Prime Minister’s decision.”

It said that as the organization which represents more than 400 manufacturers, employing more than 77,000 Jamaicans, “the JMA is only too well aware that the country’s crime level significantly impacts the private sector’s development, investment climate and the quality of life for all our people.”

It continued: “We will continue to lobby for stern, effective and prompt action.  We, however, take this opportunity to caution the military and police that even while we forthrightly tackle this scourge of crime, we militate against unwarranted use of force.”