Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Where is the crime plan? Brown asks Holness

Published:Saturday | February 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Lambert Brown

Opposition senator Lambert Brown has blasted the Government for dragging its feet with a promised crime plan to tackle the soaring murder rate in the country.

In his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate yesterday, Brown charged that the Andrew Holness-led Cabinet appears clueless in its search for solutions to reduce the rising murder rate.

"While they are fiddling, while they are dithering," said Brown, the country was on track to surpass the murder rate of 2016. Last year, 1,350 Jamaicans died violently.

The Opposition senator said the murder rate has left the Jamaican people cowering in fear.

According to Brown, the prime minister told a forum at the University of the West Indies in September 2016 that the "Government is fairly advanced in developing a strategic anti-crime action plan". He queried: "What has been the outcome of these grand declarations by the prime minister?"

He said to date the prime minister has not been able to present a crime plan to the country. "Is this why the minister of national security has resorted to telling us that the new police commissioner must come with his or her own crime plan?" he asked.


Hindrance to growth


Brown also expressed disappointment that Government Senator Aubyn Hill did not comment on the "terrible crime situation facing our country" when he opened the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate.

He argued that his displeasure stems from the fact that Hill, in 2014, identified crime as a major hindrance to Jamaica's growth when he made a presentation at a banquet of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in Mandeville. "At that time, the number of murders for all of 2013 was less than the 1,350 we experienced last year," Brown added.