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Anti-gang week strengthens fight against organised crime

Published:Sunday | September 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Fitz Bailey (left), assistant commissioner of police and head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch; Jamaica Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade (centre); and Selvin Haye, assistant commissioner of police, participate in praise and worship at the Church on the Rock in St Andrew yesterday. The service was organised to mark the start of Anti-Gang Week under the theme "Gang Life= No Life".


In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), representatives from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the National Security Ministry, through its Citizen Security and Justice Programme and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, yesterday attended a church service to observe the beginning of Anti-Gang Week at the Church on the Rock in St. Andrew.

Delivering a message prepared by National Security Minister, Horace Chang, Acting Chief Technical Director in the security ministry Laura Plunkett said Anti-Gang Week was another tool to help eradicate criminality.

The theme for Anti-Gang Week, is “Gang Life = No Life”.

“Gangs take lives. Gangs rob communities of positive contributors to social life. Crime and violence is heavily influenced by gangs and gang-related activities. Gang leaders are now targeting boys in our high schools. We must fight for the innocence of our children and their right to education, protection and a safe environment."

Chang said that key pieces of legislation would also help to crack down on local gangs.

“The amendment of the anti gang law will include clarity about how a gang can be declared, special measures in court to protect witnesses and strategies to monitor gang members," the minister outlined.

Dean-Roy Bernard, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education told the congregation that the new standards curriculum is geared towards banishing gang activities from the island.

“The National Standards Curriculum is geared at ending violence and gang activities. If we can get our students to communicate their issues, gang violence would be cauterised," he said.