Jamaica not open for criminal business, says Chang
Citing recent seizures of illicit drugs and firearms, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, has charged that law enforcement will spare no effort in putting a stop to illegal activities.
"We want them [criminals] to know that Jamaica is not open for criminal business," declared Chang while speaking at the opening day of the second United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)-sponsored Workshop for the Technical Working Group for the Development of the National Organized Crime Strategy, held at Moon Palace hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Tuesday.
Chang noted that Jamaica continues to strengthen operational activities against organised crime.
In recent months, local law enforcement seized large quantities of cocaine and dozens of illegal guns and ammunition.
Looking at the regional and global picture, Chang noted that during his chairmanship of the 24th meeting of the CARICOM Council of National Security and Law Enforcement in October last year, member states reiterated the need for urgent steps to be taken to stop the threat posed by organised crime, especially in small island states.
"Government is not prepared to apologise for applying strong policing to reduce fear and mayhem,” said Chang, noting that the current threat of organised crime is complex.
This was echoed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, who stated that the situation requires a holistic and collaborative response.
"Based on the importance of partnership, cooperation, and collaboration, there is no place for insularity or unhealthy competition among stakeholders if the fight against organised crime is to be won," Bailey said.
He argued that organised crime is impacting the quality of life of Jamaicans.
"The impact is most observatory through the manifestation of a homicide rate....which threatens our institutions, communities, culture and national security," Bailey said.
He suggested that by developing a robust organised crime strategy, Jamaica would be positioned to improve its national security environment while strengthening regional and international efforts to combat transnational organised crime.
- Carl Gilchrist
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