Holness predicts crime plunge as murders increase
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC):
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is confident that his administration will drastically reduce murders in the country, despite statistics released on the weekend showing an increase in murders so far this year.
Holness, who was speaking in the Cayman Islands on Monday, said that the Government was committed to bringing crime under control without making a trade-off in relation to human rights.
“Our crime situation is indeed a challenge for our country and a threat to our economic success, but we will not be daunted,” he said.
“Jamaica has a very complicated social construct as it relates to dealing with the issue of crime because much of crime in Jamaica is generated by poverty. But we also have an element to consider and that is also violence and what is also a culture of violence.
He said as the country moves to deal with the situation, it has had to deploy emergency measures in the form of a declaration of a state of public emergency, adding “we have used this as a tool in an amazing way, because though it is clearly the mobilisation of force, we have used force without violence and there’s clearly been no reports, locally or in the international media, of abuse of human rights in suppressing criminal activity in Jamaica.
“I believe that that is something that Jamaicans can be proud of along with our economic recovery,” Holness said, promising his audience that the next time he addresses them “the next statistic I will put out regarding our crime situation will be a phenomenal reduction in murders in our country”.
Last year, 1,287 murders were committed in committed in Jamaica. Up to June 29, some 675 murders have been recorded since the start of the year. This is a 0.8 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.