Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Montague hosts 'game-changing' meeting on security with PNP officials

Published:Monday | February 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM

National Security Minister Robert Montague last Thursday sat with People's National Party (PNP) Chairman Robert Pickersgill and General Secretary Julian Robinson for what has been described as "a game-changing meeting" to brief them on the national crime management strategy and security initiatives.

The meeting, held at Montague's Oxford Road, St Andrew office, included Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister for national security, and directors in the ministry.

During the exchange, the PNP representatives were briefed on activities being carried out by the ministry, its departments and agencies.

Montague, while speaking with Pickersgill and Robinson, said: "This Government is committed to taking a collaborative approach to combating the crime problem and this is why we have invited the PNP to the table, as they are a major national institution."

The national security minister said this forms part of consultative efforts with various sectors and is designed to give the Opposition a full briefing on what is being done within the ministry and to invite the party's feedback and participation.


... Pickersgill hails discussions as 'productive'

Commenting on the outcome of a meeting with the Ministry of National Security last Thursday, People's National Party (PNP) Chairman Robert Pickersgill has labelled the discussions "productive".

Said Pickersgill: "It was good to hear from the senior officers within the Ministry of National Security on plans, the progress being made on these plans, and the future."

He added: "I am very impressed. I look forward to seeing the plans, especially for social development, unfold, because I believe that this is at the root of the crime problem, as well as the approach to the swift and sure justice pillar."

Supporting Pickersgill's comments, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson described the meeting as a good one.

"There was a lot of information that was shared, which, I believe, is useful in terms of what is being done by the Government. It is important that this information gets out in the public domain so it can build confidence in what this Government is doing to address the crime problem."

Commenting on recent calls for the resignation of National Security Minister Robert Montague, the PNP chairman said: "I am not one to blame the minister and call for resignations.We blame the minister when things are not going well, but when things are going well we don't praise him. Changing the minister of national security will not resolve the crime problem."

Montague said the ground-breaking meeting with the Opposition is welcome, describing it as a good day to promote public safety.

He said: "While there will be differences, and we won't see eye to eye all the time, we have enough for collaboration and to work together to create a safer and more prosperous Jamaica."

The PNP team was briefed within the context of the five-pillar strategy of:

- Effective policing

- Swift and sure justice

- Situational prevention

- Crime prevention through social development

- Rehabilitation and redemption