Sun | Sep 15, 2019

PM refuses to reveal crime plan for fear of tipping off criminals

Published:Friday | May 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter

With the parliamentary Opposition maintaining its call for the Government to present a crime plan for the country, Prime Minister Andrew Holness last Tuesday sought to put the issue to rest by declaring that his administration has gone past plans and is now at the stage of implementation.

"I am not going to be drawn into disclosing [information] to the organised criminals ... . No criminal must ever have a clue what the Government is doing because we somehow think that it is just low-level criminals that we are targeting," a spirited Holness told members of the Opposition on Tuesday while debating a resolution to extend the state of public emergency in St James.

The prime minister told lawmakers that he outlined a national security plan in his first Budget presentation. He said former Minister of National Security Robert Montague had also highlighted the five-pillar crime strategy.


Legislative changes coming


At the same time, Holness indicated that the Government has drafted amendments to the anti-gang legislation and the Firearms Act, which would be brought to Parliament.

The prime minister indicated that there were persons involved in nefarious activities who read The Economist [and] The Gleaner editorials and are on Twitter and Facebook. "Those are the dangerous criminals, and we will never disclose what we are doing to give them any advantage. We will maintain the strategic advantage in fighting crime."

He said that the activities of criminals in St James and St Catherine North have been disrupted, noting that in a very strategic and deliberate way, the security forces were arresting persons who have committed offences. Holness said that the security forces had been very successful in capturing some of the high-value targets who have been creating problems.

The prime minister said that it was the desire of the administration to move this effective strategy right across the island and deal with the gangs and uproot them, but there were resource constraints.