Tue | Mar 31, 2020

Phillips beats anti-crime drum on US tour

Published:Monday | February 3, 2020 | 12:29 AM

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips unveiled a number of proposed solutions to the rampant crime and violence in the country as the election season draws near.

Phillips, who is currently overseas touring the tri-state area in the United States of America, noted that last year’s 1,326 murders were mainly attributed to the failure of management and policy.

Addressing members of the Jamaican diaspora in Hartford, Connecticut, on the weekend, the opposition leader also pointed to failures in the education sector, family life, and the economic system as reasons for the country’s alarming crime situation.

Phillips said that crime and violence was a result of a long-term breakdown in communities and argued for a mixture of short, medium-, and long-term solutions.

However, the opposition leader maintained his rejection of states of emergency as a solution to Jamaica’s crime plague.

The Holness administration has imposed states of emergency in eight of 19 police divisions, the latest being last week’s intervention in Kingston East.

Phillips asserted that the kingpins of the underworld would be brought to book with his proposed refocus of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) to tackle transnational organised crime actors.

MOCA was formed in 2014 as an elite agency focusing on tackling corruption in the public sector and to nab high-value criminals.

Phillips also recommended that police posts be established for hotspot policing in areas where upsurges in crime occur.

Part of the opposition leader’s raft of proposals included a plan to place more energy on long-term social interventions in zones that produce gangsters to try to separate the criminals from the community.

Phillips had previously served as minister of national security from 2001 to 2007.