Jamaica’s PM confirms no negotiations with gang members

July 15, 2023  -Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness reiterated the Government’s firm stance against negotiating with gangsters, emphasizing that they pose a threat to the safety and security of the State.

He expressed his strong position during an interview with journalists following the official opening of concrete pavements in the community of McDonald Place, St Andrew West Central, on Thursday (July 13).

According to Holness, gangs have a destructive impact on the country and do not operate in the best interest of citizens.

He highlighted that their motives are driven by selfishness, and therefore, they should be dealt with using the full force of the law.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need to eliminate gangs from society, stating, “Gangs must be eliminated from our society, and I want to make that absolutely clear.”

Holness explained that the Government has implemented measures to address the issue of gangs and ensure that no special treatment is given to those who choose to join them.

He noted that this Administration has taken the initiative to bring gangs to the criminal justice system, prosecuting and treating them as criminals.

Government’s efforts to apprehend criminals

The Prime Minister also discussed the Government’s ongoing efforts to enhance the intelligence capabilities of the security forces, enabling them to apprehend criminals and bring them to the courts.

He further highlighted that the country is on a challenging journey to interdict gangs, as it requires the development of strong and robust evidence. He acknowledged that frustration and fatigue with crime may arise among citizens but assured them that the Government is investing in the capacity of the police force to address crime effectively.

Holness further mentioned that significant investments are being made to improve and transform the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). These investments include providing equipment and gears, enhancing police-citizen interactions, and focusing on leadership development within the force.

Building a safer Jamaica

The Prime Minister emphasized that there is a long-term plan to build the capacity of the police force to combat crime while also implementing emergency measures to prevent crime from escalating. He expressed confidence in the current capabilities of the JCF and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to adequately police crimes and undermine the capabilities of gangs.

As part of their corporate social responsibility program, the Caribbean Cement Company Limited undertook the initiative to install concrete pavements in McDonald’s Place at a cost of $8 million. This initiative aims to enhance the infrastructure and improve the quality of life for residents in the community. Additionally, it involves the removal of derelict structures and the creation of gardens.

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