Churches concerned about increase in murders, violence

Published: Monday | March 5, 2012 Comments 0

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) is raising concerns about the number of murders that have taken place since the start of the year.

This is just one of the national issues that the group addressed following its officer's meeting recently.

"The council has taken note of the response to date of the Government, and now appeals to the security forces and the general population to come together in ensuring that the significant gains we made in 2011 in this regard are not allowed to be reversed.

"It is also of importance that we address the social factors that make our people, especially the young, vulnerable to crime and violence," the JCC, which is the umbrella group representing a number of churches, outlined in a release recently.

The council also took issue with the recently reported violence against inmates at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, by members of the Jamaica Defence Force.

"It is worrying to hear that there are areas in such high-risk environment that are not covered by security cameras. The council is therefore calling upon our Government to ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated and that the public be informed of the findings," the release said.

Meanwhile, the JCC has welcome the pronouncement of Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, but said it is worried about the handling of the programme, especially with the local government elections only weeks away.

"We eagerly await the specifics in terms of methodology for the selection of projects and workers. It is of uttermost importance that there is no real or perceived reason to believe that the resources so allocated are used for any political advantage," the group said.

Concern about Budget

The national Budget was also an area of concern to the council resulting in its call for the Government to do all that is possible to cushion the impact that the intended cuts in the next Budget is likely to have on society.

"While we appreciate the challenges of the economic climate in which we are, and the need to make some difficult decisions, as usual, the council is anxious about the impact the intended cuts in the next fiscal Budget is likely to have on the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.

"The need to grow ourselves out of this dilemma cannot be over emphasised. The JCC is therefore appealing to our Government and private sector to create the environment needed to facilitate this direction," the JCC said.

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