Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Knight: Crime plan needed by April

Published:Friday | March 30, 2018 | 12:54 AMBrian Walker
Knight

Opposition Senator KD Knight wants Prime Minister Andrew Holness to announce his crime plan no later than April, barring which he has threatened to galvanise citizens to pressure the Government.

Knight was making his contribution to a Senate debate yesterday on a resolution to extend the state of emergency in St Catherine North for three months.

“You might not believe it, but there are lots I can rouse up in this country, a lot of people including people from your side (Government). This hide-and-seek business and this kind of PR answers about involvement of the Opposition in it, is no reason after two years, not to come out with a comprehensive crime plan,” said Knight.

In response, Kamina Johnson Smith, leader of government business in the Senate, chided Knight.

Asked Johnson Smith: “Why would you think that that is a positive contribution to a debate where you have just said that it is important for us to work together across the aisle?"

Knight suggested that the crime plan should transcend operational initiatives and take on an integrated approach.

“A part from educating the public about it, believe me, the prime minister is going to have to educate his Cabinet, because an integrated plan is going to move right across the Government.”

Knight said there was a critical lesson to be learnt from the Government's failure to implement The Report of the National Task Force on Crime, otherwise called the 1993 Wolfe Report, in a holistic manner.

Knight, who was the then minister of national security and justice, described the Wolfe Report as a comprehensive crime plan.   

“The Ministry of National Security and Justice implemented perhaps in the region about 94 per cent of the recommendations, but other ministries did not and so it watered down the plan,” he argued.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the House of Representatives that the Government would soon disclose its crime plan, but that there needed to be bipartisan support.

Holness added that Fitz Jackson, the opposition spokesman on national security, has already attended a National Security Council meeting.

The Senate approved the resolution with 16 members voting in favour. Five were absent. 

brian.walker@gleanerjm.com