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Phillips again urges the immediate convening of stakeholders' meeting on crime

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Leader of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips says that the long promised anti-crime meeting of stakeholders, to include the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Peace Management Initiative, the church, and others must be immediately convened in order to hammer out a national consensus against crime and violence.

“There is need for a national consensus about this issue which is without doubt one of the most serious problems that we face as a country. The private sector has already agreed, we the opposition have agreed and other groups have agreed,” Dr Phillips told Gordon House yesterday.

While supporting the extension of the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) in St James, St Catherine and Kingston, Dr Phillips welcomed the promise that more zones will be established.

The Opposition said it has been advocating for the increase and broadening of this crime fighting mechanism to stem the scourge that continues to wreak havoc on communities in Clarendon, Westmoreland, Hanover, Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and other parts of the island.

Dr Phillips noted that a high level of crime “has been a persistent feature of our social reality, with the murder rate having almost doubled every decade since Independence.”

“While we deal with the ZOSO, the only long term solution is to take the criminals off the streets, and we know who they are, based on utterances by the government and the security forces after the end of the State of Emergency. If we need legislative enhancement to get this done, we should do it.”

The Opposition leader also expressed deep sadness about the brutal murder of eight year-old Chantae Skyers in Red Hills, St Andrew.

“Once again, this signals the levels of savagery that have overtaken so many areas of Jamaican life. The cases of domestic violence, the drive-by shootings in several communities, the killing of our children, and this blood thirst need more than just a sprinkling of Zones of Special Operations or the scraping up of thousands of young men without charge, unconstitutionally. It is time we seriously bring together the stakeholders and agree on a national approach that will be both far reaching and sustainable,” Dr Phillips said.


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