The National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, is in the process of elaborating a strategic anti-crime action plan, involving an integrated and comprehensive set of measures and actions to significantly reduce crime in the country.
The NSC, in the light of the urgency of the matter, has been meeting monthly, rather than quarterly as previously obtained, and has embarked on a comprehensive and thorough approach with a view to achieving significant and sustainable reductions in crime, in preference to the adopting of ad hoc, short-term measures. It has, nevertheless, agreed an ambitious October, 2016 timeline for completion of all consultations and deliberations, and finalization of a plan for submission to Cabinet for approval.
The NSC is focusing on a wide range of inter-related areas, especially in relation to violent crime, crimes involving the use of firearms, and lotto scamming. Those areas include increased population of the security forces as well as their base locations and mobility, the enhancement of investigative and prosecutorial capacities complemented by attendant administrative processes, the judicial framework and procedures, relevant legislative Acts and instruments and the correctional system.
Prime Minister Holness has underlined that the high incidence of gun crimes is among the most pressing problems in the society, with police statistics indicating that gang conflicts are responsible for the majority of all murders. The Prime Minister has emphasized urgency in providing greater support to, and employing strategic measures in the entire justice system to ensure that significantly more cases are effectively investigated and prosecuted.
The other members of the NSC, which is an organ of the Cabinet, are the Minister of Finance & the Public Service, the Minister of National Security, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, the Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Commissioner of Police.
The Government has been actively utilising the facility of the National Security Council to refine and synergize its approaches outlined with respect to crime during the recent budget and sectoral debate in Parliament.