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Citizens must be first priority, says JHTA - as it supports the Gov't's initiative to tackle crime

Published:Friday | January 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association President Omar Robinson.


In full support of the Government's action to tackle crime in St James, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says that the safety of the country's citizens must always be first priority.

"Where that is assured, it creates and engenders an environment for our country and our businesses, including those in the tourism sector, to do well," president of the association Omar Robinson said in a media release late yesterday afternoon.

The JHTA president's comments come in the wake of the state of public emergency now on in the western Jamaica parish, which has been rocked by a significant increase in murders and violent crimes over the past year.

"We welcome the announcement. It is decisive action by the Government, which the association, fully supports," said Robinson, adding that even though Jamaica has had a low incidence of crime against visitors, for far too long, that has not been the case for residents.

Statistics show that Jamaica's overall crime rate in respect of crimes against visitors is .01 per cent.

The association, which is made up of several hoteliers, attraction operators, and tourism purveyors, said it was important for the Government to remain resolute in its responsibilities to stop those intent on perpetrating acts of violence and criminality across the country.

Robinson pointed out that it was also important to note that JHTA's support was contingent on the security forces knowing that they are expected to respect the human rights and civil liberties of everyone with whom they come into contact during this time.

Robinson stated that the state of public emergency should not hamper the activities and enjoyment of the guests on the island or significantly affect the movement of citizens.