Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Where is the money? - Bunting says Gov't yet to pump additional rescources into fighting crime

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2017 | 1:29 AM
Bunting

While noting that western Jamaica – particularly St James, Westmoreland and Hanover – accounted for a large portion of the murders last year into this year, Opposition Spokesperson on National Security Peter Bunting has acknowledged that this was fuelled by the deadly lottery scam and the number of informal communities in that section of the island.

He, however, argued that the failure of the present administration in the fight against crime reflects a bigger issue.

LOST FOCUS

“I think we have lost some amount of focus from the policy level in the change of administration,” said Bunting, charging that the Jamaica Labour Party Government has not maintained social interventions such as the Unite for Change programme that was implemented by the People’s National Party administration.

Bunting said the present Government has also fallen short on providing resources for the police, such as vehicles, despite an announcement from Minister of National Security Robert Montague that this is a priority.

He stated, “The fact that we have had $400 million for the police force to acquire vehicles from about April/May last year, and until January we have only heard of approximately 20 used vehicles that have been acquired, to my mind that is inexcusable.”

“If we bought new vehicles, we could have had 80 to 100 already delivered with a ninemonth lead time. So there is really no excuse, to my mind, other than administrative bungling and a lack of focus,” added Bunting, as he noted that the money had been budgeted and approved to purchase the vehicles.

The parliamentarian also noted that while the Government has announced that it will pump unprecedented amounts of money into the fight against crime, he is yet to see the manifestation of that. arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com