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Gov't to amend Bail Act

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell

The Andrew Holness administration is taking steps to amend the Bail Act to prevent persons charged with murder from getting bail under certain circumstances.

Making his contribution to the Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday, Holness said Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and Minister of National Security Robert Montague would provide further details when they make their presentations to the Sectoral Debate.

Commenting on domestic violence, which accounts for 37 per cent of murders in Jamaica, the prime minister said a domestic violence coordinator would be established at every police station.

Consultative committee

He said a consultative committee would also be established, comprising a justice of the peace, pastors, school principals and other community leaders.

"Once there is a report to a police station of an incident of domestic violence, the domestic violence coordinator will be alerted in parallel with the formal investigative procedure. He or she will visit with those allegedly involved and this visit will be followed up by visits from members of the consultative committee engaging those involved in a process of dialogue and reconciliation."

He said early intervention was critical to solving the problem of domestic violence in Jamaica.

Holness also encouraged members of the parliamentary Opposition to join forces with the Government in its effort to tackle the problem of crime.

"The criminals must not feel that there is a political divide on the resolve to fight crime and violence in Jamaica," he stressed.