Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Act now - JMA urges political leaders to unite, craft clear crime fighting strategy

Published:Wednesday | January 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The powerful private-sector lobby, the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA), has issued an urgent appeal for the country's political leaders to unite and craft an effective crime-fighting strategy.

This strategy, the JMA said, must have clear targets while allowing all Jamaicans to become partners and hold public officials accountable.

"The sad reality of Jamaica today is that lawlessness and rising crime are undermining our quality of life and vision for Jamaica," the JMA said.

"The time is now, to rebuild, respect and restore law and order. If not, all the macro-economic gains and sacrifices made as a country would have been for nothing," the association warned in a statement yesterday.

The JMA joins a growing list of national stakeholders who have condemned the spate of murders across the island since the start of the year.

According to police statistics, close to 50 persons have been murdered nine days into 2018. A total of 1,616 persons were reported killed last year, an increase of just over 20 per cent when compared with the 1,350 recorded in 2016.

While acknowledging that the breakdown of law and order in the society is a multifaceted problem, the JMA said, "If we are serious about crime and have the political will to cut crime, we can.

"What is necessary is decisive action and a clear direction which has social and political consensus," the association said.