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Dons to be placed on 'watch list'

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

If the Andrew Holness administration has its way, dons and other criminal masterminds could be placed on 'watch lists' by the courts and subject to enhanced surveillance and other measures.

The prime minister told his parliamentary colleagues yesterday that for too long persons associated with gangs and those aligned to criminal organisations have been allowed to "proceed with impunity".

"In other countries, the equivalent of their dons ... are placed on watch lists; their movements are curtailed. This allows the State to limit and better collect information on their activities. It is now time to decisively deal with gang leaders and dons," Holness declared.

In his contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament yesterday, Holness said it was time the country reject the concept of a don, which he claimed had gained some degree of legitimacy in the society.

He argued that dons were able to move freely and conduct their illicit activities.

"This freedom allows them to have associations and influence over key functionaries in the community and broader society, including law-enforcement officers, not just in the police force but in Customs, immigration and revenue protection."

The head of Government also pointed out that political consensus was needed to tackle the problem of crime.