JLP has no credible solution to the growing gang crisis, says Jackson

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JLP has no credible solution to the growing gang crisis, says Jackson

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party's (PNP) spokesman national security, Fitz Jackson, today blasted statements made by National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, stating that the Government has no solution to the country's growing gang crisis.

Jackson's statement comes after Dr Chang assured Jamaicans of the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) intention to “stem the mushrooming of deadly gangs in communities across the country”.

Jackson said the minister's statement “is nothing more than an electioneering tactic” and urged the country not to believe “any such hollow and baseless promises from the JLP-led government.”

“This latest futile statement from Dr Chang is a terrifying reminder of a similar statement made in the 2016 campaign, promising Jamaicans a society in which they could sleep with windows and doors open,” Jackson said.

“The Government has had more than four years to resolve the issue of crime and violence and curb the expansion of gang culture in our communities, and it has failed. Between 2014-2018, the country experienced a noticeable increase in gangs and gang violence, which Dr Chang reported to the Parliament,” he added.

In his statement, Jackson said that the minister told the Parliament that some 389 gangs were operating in Jamaica, and that their level of cooperating had increased. Some of these “super gangs”, Jackson said, have proliferated their activities under the current administration.

“To date, the Government has not presented a credible crime plan, and under its watch some 7,000 citizens have been murdered and countless more have been injured due to the government's failed policy on crime,” he said.

“Up to August 7, 2020, more than 800 of our citizens from across the demographic spectrum have been murdered senselessly in communities throughout the island,” the opposition spokesman added.

Jackson noted that “when Dr Chang spoke in the 2020 Sectoral Debate a few weeks ago on his portfolio, he offered no credible solution, including no time-table and implementation plan for the much-expected legislation on violent gangs, even as he recognised the imminent danger facing the Jamaican society from the increase in gangs and gang activities.”

“The government's policy of dependence to the States of Emergency (SOEs) and Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) had not produced authentic results and many of these same communities continue to suffer under heinous and harmful activities,” Jackson said.

He said the PNP maintains that the minister's latest declaration on gangs is “another electioneering panacea which he knows very well is an attempt to convey false hope to an electorate that is desirous for change.”

“This is not the time to listen to the promises from a clueless JLP administration and its agents. The JLP promise of a secure Jamaica is futile because for the last four and half years, it has failed to deliver on its 2016 promises to solve the most serious challenge threatening our society,” Jackson said.

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