Prime Minister Andrew Holness has highlighted the need for stronger cooperation between residents of Hanover and the security forces to further reduce the murder rate in the parish.
Since the start of the year, the parish of Hanover has recorded an eleven percent decline in murders.
Prime Minister Holness says while the reduction is encouraging, there is still cause for concern.
“We have given instructions and directions to the security forces and I know that they have been successful in apprehending some of the persons who are alleged or suspected of committing the crimes but that is not going to be enough, there has to be stronger cooperation between the citizens and police to give up the criminals,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister asserted that the behavior of criminals in the western parish will ultimately impact negatively on its tourism prospects.
“This beautiful parish should not be contributing to the murder rate and it is within the power of the citizens to put an end to it. That is the truth. I have regular discussions with the Minister of National Security and with the Commissioner of police and we’re looking at the situation here,” said Mr. Holness.
While appealing to the residents to work with the security team, the Prime Minister stated that plans are afoot to develop tourism in Hanover which will result in employment for residents.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness expressed optimism that there will be rapid growth in Hanover with little to no murders.
“I believe that Hanover can become one of the fastest growing parishes in Jamaica by virtue of the potential you have in tourism. Let’s get this crime and violence thing under control. It is not the nature of the people of Hanover I know and let’s work together, community and police to bring an end to that problem,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister was speaking yesterday (Thursday, August 16) at the National Housing Trust (NHT) Groundbreaking Ceremony for Industry Cove, Hanover.
It is the first time in approximately 25 years that the NHT will undertake a project of this kind in the parish and the Prime Minister believes Hanover is deserving of the attention. Sixty-three (63) housing units will be constructed in the coming months.