Minister of National Security Horace Chang says that while there is much work to be done in the national crime fight, the gains made since the implementation of States of Public Emergencies (SOEs) and Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) should be acknowledged.
The first existing state of emergency was declared in January, in St James and the other in March in North St Catherine.
In his first press briefing as Minister of National Security at his offices in the NCB North Tower on Oxford Road, Chang stated that much will be needed for the continued fight against criminal elements through the joint efforts of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the soon-to-be autonomous Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).
“In my sectoral presentation yesterday (Tuesday), I presented to you the three overarching pillars that will underpin the programmes being undertaken to fight crime and restore public order and safety,” he said.
These, according to the minister, include operational strategies and institutional changes, led by the JCF, JDF and MOCA; policy enhancement; and legislative amendments to improve the regulatory frameworks which are either inadequate, non-existent or outdated.
“A strong stance against corruption at all levels and a commitment to the dismantling of gangs will be a hallmark of this ministry’s security engagements. We will provide support to the JCF and the JDF to bring the full force of the law against violence producers within our society,” he said.
In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on Tuesday, June 12 in Kingston, Minister Chang said that it is his commitment to work with the police, the army and MOCA to resolve crime, not only in Montego Bay but in the entire country.
“It must be noted, that by the end of May , following executive action by this government, we have seen an eight percent decrease in major crimes,” he asserted.
“We are confident that we can maintain this positive trend, however, more needs to be done, and we will outline some of these actions as we go forward,” Chang added.
By Gavin Riley