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Cops won't show fear to criminals, says Nelson

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

National Security Minister Dwight Nelson has declared the nation's police will not run from criminals, but is shooting down suggestions from his Opposition counterpart that the force appears to have adopted a confrontational approach.

Addressing Parliament's Standing Finance Committee yesterday, Nelson said it was "not a deliberate strategy on the part of the police to kill people".

Peter Bunting, opposition spokesman on national security, had questioned whether the increase in fatal shootings by the police was indicative of a "deliberate strategy in increasing the confrontation with criminals".


Nelson, however, said that while there was no such strategy, the police "will not turn their backs to criminals".

"They will not run away from criminals. If criminals confront them they are going to confront the criminals," Nelson added.

He told the committee that the number of encounters between police and criminals has increased because criminals have "become emboldened to take on the police".

Nelson said the police, while awaiting the drafting and passage of anti-gang legislation, would continue to do regular spot checks, searches and curfews in an attempt to crack the back of major crimes.

Monuments in communities

Meanwhile, Nelson has committed to examining a suggestion from East Central St Catherine Member of Parliament Natalie Neita Headley to remove monuments of slain gunmen from communities.

"There is a trend that has developed where young men in a community, dependent on how violent they were, how much of a don they were before they were taken down by the gun, they seem to be rewarded by the erection of some monument after they have passed," Neita Headley noted.

Responding to her intervention, Nelson said it was an observation with which he empathised.