Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Establish fund to assist victims of crime, says former attorney general

Published:Monday | April 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck

Government Senator Ransford Braham is proposing that a fund be established to assist victims and their families who have been financially affected as a result of criminality.

"In Jamaica today, where poor people are losing their lives, where mothers are losing their sons, where people are being crippled, we don't even talk about the people who are shot and injured and maimed and are left in wheelchairs," Braham said in his contribution to efforts to extend the current state of emergency in the St Catherine North Police Division in the Senate last Thursday.

"I am of the view that for persons who suffer criminal injury or death, we should have a special financial revenue (fund) to assist those families. They can't sue anybody, they can't sue the attorney general when they are shot or their families are murdered," the former attorney general said.

"When you go to look for them, they have no resources to get from anybody. They are shot by a criminal, and they now have diapers that they are wearing. They live in the one room where that person [who] was supposed to come and bring some prosperity to the family, he is injured and maimed indefinitely for life, and the family is reduced. They are begging to try to support this one person who should have been taking care of them. That is a reality," added Braham.

In 2011, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said that the Government would seek to strengthen its victim support initiatives by setting up a fund to assist victims of crimes.

"In due course, we can put together a victim compensation fund that can go a far way in assisting the victims of crimes, especially, with their medical expenses, to put them back on a footing and to give them assistance so that they know that others care," he said then, addressing the official opening of the West Kingston Satellite Counselling Centre in Denham Town.

The fund has still not been established.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com