Jamaica's location a double-edged sword, says Chang

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Security Minister Dr Horace Chang is bemoaning that Jamaica's strategic position in the Caribbean is a double-edged sword, providing opportunities for economic prosperity on one hand but also proving to be a stomping ground for organised criminals.

“We are strategically located in the Caribbean, so today we are working on developing a policy — with support of the Opposition — of growing the economy and making ourselves not only the premier tourist destination, but the premier logistics centre, which can bring significant wealth, restore much of the dynamism of the Corporate Area, and lay the foundation for a really dynamic economy. But that same strategic position makes it very easy for major criminal organisations to operate out of Jamaica,” Dr Chang rued.

“We are a small country but we face many challenges. The very things that give us an opportunity to become the greatest little country in the world are the same things that allow crime to thrive,” he continued.

Addressing the annual general meeting of the Police Officers' Association (POA) at Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel in St James last Friday, Dr Chang argued that, in carrying out their nefarious activities, these well-funded, organised criminals “have no restrictions”.

“They have no INDECOM (Independent Commission of Investigations) or Charter of Rights to respond to, all of which we have to pay attention to. They just move. They have enormous resources and the will to really disrupt and undermine our social institutions and retard the country's development — that's the team you have to respond to,” the security minister said.

INDECOM is mandated to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the security forces and other agents of the State that result in death or injury to individuals, or the abuse of the rights of people, and connected matters.

Dr Chang said that the on-the-job experience gained by senior police officers over the years will now be heavily relied on to deal with the threat posed by these organised criminals.

“And while we can take policy decisions through laws and seek to invest in them, much of what is required to deal with it will come from the lessons that men and women, like yourselves, have learnt... Because you deal with crime every day; you are on the front line,” the security minister said.

The conference was held under the theme: “Empowerment through Leadership”.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon