Holness and Phillips start discussions on national anti-crime strategy

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Holness and Phillips start discussions on national anti-crime strategy

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips jointly confirmed in Parliament this afternoon that they have started discussions on cooperation on a national anti-crime strategy.

Holness raised the issue in the House of Representatives while opening the debate on resolutions seeking to approve the continuation of five states of emergency (SOEs)— St James, St Catherine, Hanover, Westmoreland and parts of St Andrew.

Holness noted that at a meeting last Thursday with Dr Phillips and other stakeholders, they had discussed the possibility of “a national attempt at consensus around a crime fighting strategy”.

“I am pleased to report that there has been progress in this regard,” Holness said, as MPs on both sides cheered the announcement.

He said that he and the Leader of the Opposition had been facilitated by a civil society group (which he did not name) to start work towards the agreement.

He said that Thursday there should be another stakeholders meeting, which will address the concerns and seriously look at the issues they face to create an uncontested political space, in which there can be a national consensus on a crime fighting plan for Jamaica.

“I think that is a positive step and a step in the right direction,” Holness noted.

Dr Phillips said he believes that all of the MPs, and the majority of Jamaicans, will accept that violent crimes represent the major threat to the country's progress.

“And that this is an issue around which the entire nation should find some consensus, as to the way forward,” Phillips said.

He said that the Opposition is pleased that the venture is underway, and hope that the result will be some measure of agreement and consensus that will embrace the wider community of stakeholders.

Balford Henry

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