Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Offer incentives to accused to fight crime, Montague tells police

Published:Monday | January 9, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Robert Montague

WESTERN BUREAU:

Minister of National Security Robert Montague says he fully supports giving incentives to accused persons in exchange for giving credible information to the police that lead to the apprehension of criminals.

According to Montague, it is very difficult to get accused persons to provide information when there is nothing to gain from ratting out, or inform on, somebody.

"It is now a case where it has to be something for something," he explained. "I am going to strongly support the call for bail to be granted to an accused person as long as that individual provides credible information to the police which will result in taking someone we want off the street."

He argued that the fact that bail is a constitutional right, it is important that the police try to get "whatever information it can out of it.

"If the accused can provide valuable information to go after dangerous criminals, then the police will not oppose bail in exchange for that information," the security minister added.

"We want the world to know that this is what we will be doing. We will not be violating anybody's constitutional rights. We are just saying that if speeding up a bail process or granting bail in exchange for valuable information can assist us in our fight against crime, then that is something we will be doing."

Montague said he will be having discussions with defence attorneys to outline the plans and let them know that there is "a new currency in town".

He was addressing senior officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force last Thursday night at the Half Moon hotel in Montego Bay.

In attendance were a number of members of the business community, political hierarchy and the judiciary.

 

NOT A BAD START

 

Supporting the suggestion made by the security minister, Mayor of Montego Bay Homer Davis said it is imperative that the police cultivate new ways to get information from criminals, noting that offering incentives such as bail is not a bad place to start.

"I am prepared to give the minister and the police 100 per cent of support as it relates to fighting crime in St James and other areas," he pointed out.

"I think we have gone too far, and, as a result, it is full time we take back our parish, and by extension, our country. Too many good things are going for the city capital, Montego Bay, for us to lose it all to these marauding gunmen."

Since the start of the year, some six persons have been murdered in St James, with western Jamaica leading the island with a total of 14.

Even while the minister spoke of measures being put in place in the parish, gunshots were being fired in Rose Heights, Hurlock, Flanker and Barrett Town in the parish.

When the dust settled, two men were pronounced dead at hospital.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com