Byron Buckley, Special Projects Editor
While expressing regret at the extensive loss of life during the assault by the security forces on west Kingston gang strongholds in the quest to arrest alleged Mafia boss Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday declared that he would be charging ahead with legislation aimed at curbing crime.
Golding, in a statement to the House of Representatives, said the state of emergency, which has been imposed since Sunday evening, will be used by the security forces to go after armed thugs across the country.
"During this period of public emergency, a concerted effort will be made to go after the criminal gunmen in whatever community they may be ensconced," Golding told the House.
He added that while the state of emergency has been called to deal with the arrest of Coke, "it is not confined to that, because there is a general pattern of criminality, lawlessness and the kind of criminality that is not unwilling to confront and challenge the institutions of authority in the State and those have to be responded to ... ."
Golding disclosed that pending anti-crime legislationwill be tabled in Parliament within a week, with the expectation for enactment before the summer recess. He added that drafting instructions had been given regarding the anti-gang bill.