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Security minister seeks buy-in - Opposition and other groups invited for consultations on new anti-crime proposals

Published:Thursday | November 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMArthur Hall

The government should soon roll out several new measures to address the crime monster which has claimed more than 1,300 lives across the island since the start of this year.

Minister of National Security Robert Montague last Thursday started a series of consultations around new technology-based crime-fighting proposals which he said are to be implemented shortly.

"The consultations are with various stakeholders to canvas their views to introduce a number of the initiatives that we are unfolding, so that once we roll them out, we would have taken into consideration the views and opinions of the various stakeholders," Montague told The Sunday Gleaner following a meeting with news editors.

According to Montague, the parliamentary opposition and the other political parties operating across the island, the private sector and the security forces are among the entities to be consulted before the measures are made public.

But Montague declined to say when the announcement of the new measures will be made.

"The consultations should be done about Monday, and once we come back we will take the views into consideration and Jamaica will hear from us soon, soon," said Montague.

"I don't want to put a date on it because we may have to consult and we may have to go back to another group and take back the things and review them. We are on haste but we don't want to be irresponsible," added Montague.

The security minister accepted that despite a reduction in most major crimes since the start of this year, the more than 20 per cent increase in murders and shooting is cause for concern as these are the areas which are used to index crime locally.

"We are moving to address a number of things as crime in Jamaica is not a one-dimensional phenomenon. It is multifaceted and, therefore, the response must be equally multifaceted," declared Montague, as he argued that the Government is moving to improve the mobility, manpower, working conditions and technological support for the police as part of the anti-crime drive.