Fix crime and violence - Chung
Chief Executive Officer of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Dennis Chung is giving the thumbs up to the Andrew Holness administration's target of achieving five per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in four years, but he doesn't see this happening in the current crime-charged environment of the country.
Chung stressed the significance of urgently addressing issues of crime in order for there to be development.
He shared that in doing their part as the private sector, they are currently working with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to assist with providing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to curb the increasing crime rate that has been plaguing the country, specifically western Jamaica.
"You don't ask persons to go out there and fight crime and reduce mortality and you don't provide the resources. So we talk about police killings are too high, but it is just the other day we gave them non-lethal weapons to use. Before that, all they had were lethal weapons," he said as he addressed the Lions Club of Kingston's Luncheon Wednesday.
"One of the things we are talking about is how we at the PSOJ can assist with providing the force with some CCTV cameras. The guys in Montego Bay, for example, we are going to see how we can expand that with them and see how we can provide some assistance," he continued.
Chung also reiterated the need to deal with social issues as the first order of business in a bid to enhance economic growth.
"We have to transform the society. We can't develop a country from an economic and social point of view based on the environment where we are. Crime and theft, in addition to bureaucracy, have been the top two issues for a very long time in the global competitiveness report," he said.
"One of the things we have to deal with going forward also is social exclusion. We can't have, when one government is in power, only 50 per cent of the people in the country (are appointed), and when the other government is in power, the other 50 per cent, which is what our policies have been about in the past," he said.
Chung added, "If you think of how government boards are appointed, for example, effectively, what we are doing all the time is working with 50 per cent of our capacity."