Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Holness: Government will be bold in tackling crime

Published:Wednesday | June 1, 2016 | 4:14 PM
Holness said he recognises that Jamaicans are concerned about the level of crime in the country and how it is handled.

KINGSTON (JIS):
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says the Government intends to take bold steps in tackling crime in Jamaica.

“I believe there is scope within what is legal and reasonable for the Government to make changes,” he said. 

The Prime Minister was speaking in an interview on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Issues & Answers programme yesterday.

Holness said he recognises that Jamaicans are concerned about the level of crime in the country and how it is handled.

The Prime Minister said he will be mindful of public opinion on strategies to improve security and justice.

“We don’t intend to do it in a dictatorial fashion. It must be reasonable. At the end of the day, civil society and public opinion is very strong in Jamaica,” he noted.

He said the Ministers of National Security and Justice and the Attorney General will be elaborating on the move to amend the Bail Act and other relevant issues in the upcoming Sectoral Debate.

In his Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on May 24, Holness announced that the Government will be amending the Act to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for specified crimes, and for murder suspects to be denied bail under certain circumstances.

Other measures announced by the Prime Minister in his presentation included: implementation of strategies in the courts to expedite murder trials; intensifying efforts to tackle lotto scamming, gangs and the narcotics trade; and increasing the fleet of vehicles available to police personnel.