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Holness confident of significant cut in murders

Published:Monday | January 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Police investigators on a murder scene in St James, one of the parishes with worrying murder figures last year.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is confident that the government will be able to significantly reduce the murders.

More than 90 people have been killed since the start of the year, the majority with the use of a gun, following a bloody 2016 that saw more than 1,350 people being killed, an 11 per cent increase over 2015.

"We are making the investments in national security assets to put us in a position to cut the flow of illegal weapons into the island, to limit the movement and activities of gangs, to be able to intercept criminals in the act and to create a real deterrent," Holness is quoted to have said in Kingston on the weekend.

According to Jamaica House, the prime minister said the investment is being done in addition to the creation of a new national security architecture that will better integrate all the crime fighting resources which are not all in the Ministry of National Security.

IN PHOTO: Prime Minister Andrew Holness

"We have appointed a national security adviser whose job it is to bring together all the national security assets to fight crime. So I am confident that we will be able to bring the homicide rate down significantly," Holness said.

He said too that in making Jamaica the centre of the Caribbean, the government must ensure that the rule of law is never challenged.

At the same time Holness has emphasised the need to eradicate corruption.  

"We are not satisfied with the recent ranking that we have and we are going to redouble our efforts to ensure that Jamaica improves its standing on the corruption perception index," Holness said.

READ: Jamaica drops 14 places on 2016 corruption index 

In the 2016 ranking, Jamaica slipped from 69th place to be ranked 83rd out of 176 countries on the corruption index.

The prime minister explained that the "marginal" decline in the perception index is due to the pace at which Jamaica is moving to implement various pieces of legislation.

This, he said, will be addressed in the next financial year as the government will ensure that legislation is put in place.