Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Montague defends purchase of ships for coast guard use

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2017 | 1:51 PM
Robert Montague

The Minister of National Security Robert Montague has defended the government's decision to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into improving security at the nation's borders.

The government has purchased two ships that are already in the island and will be handed over to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) coast guard shortly.

In addition, the government has purchased a surveillance aircraft that is expected in the island in July.

The purchases have raised concerns among the parliamentary Opposition, which has suggested that the Andrew Holness administration should instead invest in more practical areas that will have a more direct impact on the country's crime problem.

However, speaking this morning during a ceremony to promote greater use of the Stay Alert App, Montague pointed out that in addition to the continued in flow of illegal guns coming into the island, Jamaica is losing US$10 million of its fishing resources annually to persons in central and South America.

 

Noting that there are 145 illegal points of entry into Jamaica, the security Minister revealed that over 700 illegal firearms were seized by the police last year and 71 since the start of this year.

Montague and representatives of the two major telecommunications companies, Digicel and FLOW urged more Jamaicans to download the Stay Alert App, noting that the aim is to create a network of good citizens who will help crime fighting.