Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague says the Government remains committed to the safety and protection of all Jamaicans.
He noted that while the security forces are committed to fighting crime, it will take the combined efforts of the Government and the citizenry to bring the situation under control.
“We have to understand that what we are fighting is organized crime. It is encouraging to see the business community and other stakeholders here in Montego Bay doing their part,” Minister Montague said.
He was addressing members of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders at a meeting held on November 4, at 49 Union Street, Montego Bay, St. James.
Minister Montague also commended the Police Area One Division for doing “a phenomenal” job under very trying circumstances.
“It would be remiss of me not to commend the police in Area One for what they have been doing, particularly here in Montego Bay. I also want to thank the citizens of Montego Bay for the information they have been passing on to the police. I want to urge you to continue to make those calls to take the guns of the streets,” he stated.
Minister Montague also stated that his Ministry is in discussions with the Ministry of Justice as it relates to how bail is administered, noting that far too many crimes are being committed by persons who are already in front of the courts.
“There is a reality that we have to face and that is every Jamaican is guaranteed certain basic rights. There is the constitutional rights of our citizens that must be respected. However we want to see if there is some kind of electronic monitoring that can be administered on persons charged with say a gun crime,” he explained.
He also informed that the Government has invested over $600 million to improve its forensic unit.
“The scientific evidence is a lot more reliable and we are doing everything we can to boost our forensic capabilities, including getting more pathologists,” Mr. Montague informed.
Meanwhile, Minister Montague said the Government is willing to meet with the Opposition and any other stakeholder to discuss “actionable plans” to fight crime, noting that “we are all in this together.”
“Say what you want to say but the political parties have a local network in every nook and cranny in Jamaica. We have used that network in national disasters and I would love for us to use that same network in fighting crime,” Mr. Montague said.