Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Crime fight on: Public advised to expect intensified police operations in public spaces

Published:Tuesday | June 13, 2017 | 6:30 PM
In a statement to the House of Representatives this afternoon, Montague stayed away from repeating that comment as he tried to convince the nation that the government is responding to the surge.

Under pressure security minister Robert Montague has told Jamaicans to expect inconveniences in public spaces as police operations intensify to stem the murder surge. 

Montague yesterday told Jamaicans in a radio interview not to be "overly concerned" about the situation that's seen over 70 murders since June, about seven per day.

In a statement to the House of Representatives this afternoon, Montague stayed away from repeating that comment as he tried to convince the nation that the government is responding to the surge.

He said the security forces will be strategically increasing their presence in public spaces, a move he anticipates will cause some discomfort.

Those strategies, he said, include more roadblocks, curfews and cordon and search operations.

But he said members of the public who may be affected should be patient and cooperate with the security forces.

Disputes overseas, he said are influencing local crimes.

Noting there's no quick fix, the security minister reiterated several plans he months ago announced were being pursued.

Those included legislative changes like a law to give the police powers to target problem communities and the procurement of ballistic vests and other equipment for the security forces.

Montague confirmed by that there will be a shake up of the police command shortly.
 
A list of Jamaica's most wanted persons as well as those on the persons of interest list are due to be released.

He said respect for human rights will be observed in the intensified operations. 

"I once again urge all well-thinking Jamaicans to unite, to be aware, pass information to the police and be calm," he said.

Opposition Spokesman Peter Bunting warned against repressive forms of policing as he questioned the slow roll out of some of the anti-crime measures.