Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is determined to undermine and uproot crime in the country.
Mr. Holness noted that even as the Sate of Public Emergency continues in the parish of St. James, the Government is monitoring its impact on the economy and markets.
“It is the intention of the government to not just disrupt, but to totally undermine and uproot criminal gangs and the networks that they have formed. It is the intention of the government not just to address the street level criminals but to address those who facilitate, support and give succour to the street level criminals. We should never believe that the street level criminals operate on their own, they are financed, they use our banking network, they are well connected, they use our telecommunications infrastructure, they have good transportation, they use our roads, they buy our cars and they use them in the commission of crimes,” said Mr. Holness.
Speaking at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) 13th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference in Kingston last night (Tuesday, January 23) the Prime Minister sought to allay fears of a negative effect on the economy.
“My view is that the market will interpret this as the government being instrumental and proactive in taking measures to arrest the crime situation that threatens the economic growth of the country but more importantly threatens the safety, security, rule of law and the public order of the country that can only redound to the benefit of the markets and the people who are the players in the market,” said Prime Minister Holness.
He said that there will be some “initial jitters” about the definitive actions to manage the crime situation, but the country will benefit significantly.
“It is the intention of the government to be persistent in these measures these are not short term measures and those who are supporting criminal enterprise should not believe that these are measures that you can wait out,” stated Mr. Holness.
He added that the government has a suite of plans that they’ve started to implement which will see significant results particularly with the reduction of murders in the country.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the crime plan is comprehensive and the government intends to deal with this situation once and for all.
“It took us 40 years to get here, it is not going to change overnight but the message is that the government will be persistent determined and instrumental in its action. We ask for the understanding of our international partners in this regard, after all this is what they’ve been asking us to do in taking charge if this problem.”