Sat | Mar 23, 2019

Holness touts 'justice for all' approach to crime

Published:Monday | January 29, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that the Government takes the role of protecting the rights of all citizens seriously.

He noted that in dealing with the incidence of crime, the Government is ensuring that there will be justice for all.

"If it is that we are truly seeking justice in order to get peace, then it can't be justice for just some. It must be justice for all because when we truly start to prosecute all crimes, when we truly start to look at all the infractions and not make exceptions because of status, connection, power, or influence, that is when we truly have the rule of law," Holness sated.

He was speaking at the Lay Magis-trates' Association of Jamaica St James Chapter Annual Awards Banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay on Saturday.

Holness said that through the state of public emergency in St James, the Government has taken deliberate action to address crime and to place the safety of the public above all else.

"As a nation, we are now trying to rebuild the trust between the citizens and the security forces. The state of emergency is giving us that opportunity to hit that reset button," he argued.

He said, however, that while he is not expecting the state of public emergency to be a panacea, he believes that it will provide an opportunity to deal with the "hierarchy of criminality".

"If we are going to deal with criminality, we must deal with it at all levels. So, yes, the pinnacle of the criminal pyramid is the crime of murder, but if you consider it, it is supported by all types of other crimes going down to the base, and the base, of course, sometimes ... is the simple public order infractions," he noted.

He said that in dealing with crime, there has to be mutual trust between the security forces and residents.