Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Disappointing response to gov't gun rewards programme

Published:Wednesday | November 1, 2017 | 9:12 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed regret that more persons have not responded to the government’s offer of rewards for information on the location of illegal guns.

In September when the first Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) was declared in Mount Salem, St James, Holness announced a $100 million fund to reward persons who provide information that lead to the recovery of guns, explosives and ammunition.  

Speaking in the House of Representatives, yesterday, Holness said there have been gun seizures linked to the programme.

However, he said he’s disappointed that there have not been more.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Under the rules of the fund, rewards will be provided based on the calibre of weapons recovered by the security forces, as a result of the information received.

For example, persons who provide information that lead to the recovery of high-powered weapons, such as machine guns and rifles, would receive a $150,000 reward; while persons who provide information that leads to the recovery of pistols would receive $100,000.

The Prime Minister also announced a $20 million Fugitive Apprehension Fund to reward informants who provide tips that lead to the arrest of any of the country's 20 most wanted criminals.

Holness lamented the response to the rewards programme as he moved a motion to have the ZOSO in Mount Salem extended for another 60 days.

Holness said significant strides have been made in Mount Salem but there was still more that needed to be done, particularly in the area of social intervention.

The resolution was passed and will now go to the Senate for approval.