Holness says it’s time to develop courage to confront crime

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 20, 2017

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LUCEA, Hanover — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it is time that the political system develops the courage to confront the culture (of crime) that has held the country down for far too long.

Holness, leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, was addressing the party’s Area Council Four Annual General Meeting at the Rusea’s High School in Hanover on Sunday, where he reiterated some of the recently announced plans to reduce crime and violence in the country.

"You are going to see some actions coming in the future, more like this that is going to reduce the space that criminals have to act," said Holness, referring to his recent directive for the removal of dark tints from public passenger vehicles.

"The drastic actions that we will have to take will require us to do more to confront our culture, because there are some of us who feel that we must all have dark tints and little girls in cars. Some of them over the gearstick, some of them squeezed up…" said Holness.

He stressed that in order to deal with crime, efforts must be made to ensure criminals cannot use the public thoroughfare and public passenger transportation to get away.

"Anybody using the public transportation system, whether you are a passenger or driver, the probability of criminals using it will be reduced because, the police will be interacting with you much more often," he said.

"And we have given them (police) an instruction. When you stop a vehicle for tint or to check papers, they must look inside the vehicle, and if they see a young girl inside there with four men they must ask questions, such as, ‘Are you in this vehicle of your own free will?’ Ask the driver to step out of the car… because we cannot allow criminals to use our transportation system without fear, which is what they have been doing."

Holness said some Jamaicans are of the opinion that the issue of tint is not a big deal, and that more was expected.

However, he stressed that "controlling small crimes will assist with the control of bigger crimes".

The prime minister thanked the recognised taxi associations for their support towards the "no-tint directive", noting that approximately 95 per cent of taxi operators are law-abiding people trying to earn a living for their families.




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