Wed | Jul 17, 2019

Two months ample time to develop crime plan - McNeill

Published:Monday | December 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

Dr Wykeham McNeill, member of parliament for Western Westmoreland and a vice-president of the opposition People's National Party (PNP), says two months is sufficient time for the Government to develop a plan to counter the country's crime problem.

He was speaking against the background of the impending end to the states of emergency on January 31, 2019.

"There must be a time when you are going to have an exit clause of when you are going to get out of this, and two months is sufficient time for the Government to look and see what it is going to leave in place. It can't just be suppression of crime," said McNeill, while addressing Thursday's general meeting and luncheon of the U-Drive Jamaica Rent-A-Car Association.

"I believe the time has come for the states of emergency to end and remember, it doesn't end today, it doesn't end at the end of this month [December]. I believe, when I check and confirmed, it's on the 31 of January [2019]," said McNeill.

According to McNeill, who is the Opposition's spokesman on tourism, the country has already implemented the Suppression of Crime Act. He said what is needed now are other policing strategies.

"What are the things you [are] going to do going forward?" McNeill questioned. "Where are the parenting programmes in these communities, where are the other things? Have you built up the intelligence to break down these gangs."

"These are the things that we feel should have been done over the last year. So what we have done, we have suggested that we are not in agreement with a state of emergency; but on the other side of it, we have voted for the zones of special operations, because they don't have the same wide-ranging, constitutional negative sides," stated McNeill.

He said the Government should focus on maintaining policing measures which can implemented without the need for a state of emergency.

"We also believe that everything that you [government] are doing now, whether it is the checkpoints that I passed when I came in here, the police that you see on the road, the curfews, where you need them, the things you need policing to keep the crime under control and to get us back into a normal society, they must remain in place," added McNeill.