Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Support for gov't to curtail some civil liberties in fight against crime

Published:Sunday | January 8, 2017 | 1:28 PM
Ian Boyne

There appears to be some support for the curtailment of certain civil liberties as the Jamaican government search desperately for solutions to the island's spiralling crime rate.

Veteran journalist and Sunday Gleaner columnist, Ian Boyne, has called for the curtailment of some civil liberties to fight the country's raging murder rate.

Last year, more than 1,300 people were murdered in Jamaica.

Writing in today's Sunday Gleaner, Boyne said the only measures that can have an immediate effect on the country's crime problem are those which involve the curtailment of some certain civil liberties. He says these are not normal times and, therefore, tough anti-crime measures are needed.

Boyne criticised the media and people who he describes as the "elite", including some defence lawyers and human rights advocates who may oppose his views, as being out of touch with the realities of the majority of Jamaicans. He compared their disenchantment to the American elite's aloofness leading up to the 2016 presidential elections.

Supporting Prime Minister Andrew Holness' tough tone on crime in his New Year's Day broadcast to Jamaicans, Boyne also called for some communities to be locked down and for certain criminals to be removed from the streets. He added that there must be more curfews, searches and detentions in areas with high levels of crime.

The veteran journalist said Holness' courage to address the country's security problems will be tested in 2017.

Holness has said that this year the Government will be making tough decisions to curtail murders and other major crimes. The prime minister said the Government would also be implementing legislation to strengthen the rule of law in certain communities and to separate criminals from communities they have captured.     

The government is to speak to elements of its plan to fight crime this month.