BudgetDebate2018: Watchlist of gang associates to be created

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his administration is looking to create a watchlist of individuals associated with gangs.

“For too long, persons with gang associations and those who are a part of criminal organisations have been proceeding with impunity. Currently, the research is being undertaken to guide the establishment of a watchlist,” he said.

He argued that individuals placed on the watchlist by the courts will be subject to enhanced surveillance and other measures.

Meanwhile, in his contribution to the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, he said that enhanced security measures through Zones of Special Operations and states of public emergency, as well as a suite of other intelligence driven and targeted responses have significantly reduced violence in the areas in which they are imposed.

He further added that his administration will continue to commit to these measures.

Holness further added that in conjunction with the acquisition of technology to support cyber security, border security, intelligence gathering and analysis and surveillance, the administration is investing in the human resources and technical expertise to properly secure Jamaica.

He added that there is a legitimate call for a plan of action around which the nation can rally, adding that his administration has developed elements of such a plan, however a key element is political consensus on the elements developed.

The prime minister said he has invited the Opposition Spokesman on security to attend the next sitting of the National Security Council to discuss elements of the crime plan and to share the ideas the Opposition would like to be incorporated in the plan.

“I am confident we can reach an understanding to put National Security above politics in the same way that Government and Opposition have rallied around to pass legislation relating to International Monetary Fund (IMF) targets.”

Meanwhile, he said that the Government will be bringing a series of amendments to the Firearms Act to Parliament, in order to discourage the possession of and/or dealing in illegal firearms and ammunition.

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