Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Government is a colossal failure on crime – PNP spokesman

Published:Tuesday | October 24, 2017 | 9:20 AM
Fitz Jackson

The People’s National Party (PNP) Spokesman on National Security, Fitz Jackson has repeated his call on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to immediately set out a “real crime plan” to arrest the skyrocketing murder rate that continues to grip the nation.

According to Jackson, the crime situation remains a colossal failure by the Andrew Holness led-administration to present a workable solution.  

He argued that yesterday, October 23, is significant in two ways; that the nation’s runaway murder rate reached the 1,300 mark in 2017 with still two months to go before year’s end and that the current murder wave is taking place despite the much-heralded zones of special operations (ZOSO).  

 “We have said repeatedly, the ZOSO is not a crime plan and have called on the government to bring a national stakeholder group together to agree on a set of measures to tackle the crisis.  

“Unfortunately, the government continues to resist this common sense approach while the crime rate has climbed to 27 per cent above the corresponding period last year,” said Jackson.

He pointed to yesterday’s daylight murder of businessman Dennis Ramdial in the Corporate Area, the shooting of two watchmen at the Thompson Town High School in Clarendon, one of whom succumbed to his injuries and the firebombing of three houses in the St Andrew community of Marverly as proof that the crime monster is out of control.

 “This unfortunate milestone ought to be a mark in the sand that we can no longer sit by and allow our country to be overrun by criminals. 

“We still believe in the advantage of a national consultative dialogue and again call on the government to bring all stakeholders to the table so that a national consensus on crime can be hammered out, once and for all,” said Jackson.

The opposition spokesman noted that despite the presence of a ZOSO in Mt Salem in St James, another 13 persons were murdered in the parish over the weekend, move to 57 the number of lives lost in the parish since the ZOSO was declared.

“ZOSO is a single mechanism; it is not a crime plan. What is required is a systematic strategy that provides critical resources to the security forces and takes into account a broad range of activities to bring this monster under control. The government’s public relations gimmick cannot save lives,” charged Jackson.