Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Guardsman calls for private and public sector to discuss crime in Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | May 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
George Overton
Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Larry Watson
Madden Greig
Peter John Thwaites

Leaders and experts in crime fighting and prevention, along with a host of other private and public sector stakeholders will join forces with the Guardsman Group in a forum to discuss possible solutions to address the escalating crime issues currently affecting Jamaica.

The forum, scheduled for Thursday, will be held under the theme, 'Our Nation's Security- A Private and Public Sector Partnership' will seek to address the crime situation as it continues to threaten Jamaica's viability and the growth of the economy and the society.

According to Lieutenant Commander George Overton, director of operations at the Guardsman Group, through the public and private sector stakeholder partnership, the organisation is optimistic that they will be able to determine the root causes and develop strategies to reduce the effects of crime and violence in the country.

"There has been a lot of talk about getting crime under control in Jamaica, but no one is really leading the initiative to actually get it done. We want to get traction on the various programmes that can co-exist between the public and private sector stakeholders and engage the relevant players to implement and execute the changes necessary," Overton said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness will be the forum's keynote speaker, while the event will be moderated by award-winning journalist, Cliff Hughes from Nationwide News Network.

'Crime in Jamaica is turmoil and alarm'

The first panel will discuss the crime issues being faced and the panellists will include Larry Watson, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce; Richard Pandohie, deputy president of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association; Nicola Madden-Greig, immediate past president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and Peter John Thwaites of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

The second panel will discuss solutions to the crime issues and the panellists will include Major General Anthony Anderson, national security adviser, Office of the Prime Minister; Lieutenant Commander George Overton, director of operations, Guardsman Group of Companies, and Major Frans David Hall - managing director, Security Advisory Management Services.

The Guardsman Group held a similar forum in 2010 that saw collaboration between public sector defence stakeholders and private sector entities, in discussing the fight against crime. Guardsman Group firmly believes that safety is everyone's right.

"At present, the crime situation in Jamaica is one of turmoil and alarm, and for this to be addressed, there needs to be a concerted effort at identifying the root of the problem and finding the solutions," said Kenneth Benjamin, executive chairman at Guardsman Group Ltd.

Meanwhile, Vinay Walia, recently appointed managing director at Guardsman Group Ltd, has emphasised how important security operations were in the business environment.

"While they operate as private entities, businesses offer their services to the public, and as such have a responsibility to secure not only their property and operations but also the public, while doing business with them. As times change, security must keep up. Guardsman knows security, in all its forms and is willing and able to be at the forefront of this transformation," Walia said.

The Guardsman Group hosted security forum is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m., at the Grand Caribbean Suite at the Knustford Court Hotel.