Speaking at a press conference, yesterday, at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition (OLO), Dr. Phillips said the notion that the States of Emergency alone can fix Jamaica’s current crime problem is false. He said the results make it now clear to both government and citizenry that the declared States of Emergency are not reducing crime and criminality in Jamaica.
“It is outmoded for a government to think that the mere use of the coercive power of the state will solve the problem, and continuing to think so, is to exist in a fool’s paradise,” The Opposition leader said.
Dr. Phillips said that hard policing, and suppression alone cannot and has not resolved Jamaica’s crime problem.
He went further, “One of the consequences of the overuse of the SOE as a crime-fighting tool is the manifestation, which the PNP had warned about, of deteriorating relations between communities and the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force.”
“The SOE tool is being improperly used and is not yielding the kind of result Jamaica needs at this critical moment. The government must be prepared to embrace more effective strategies and policies so that our people can live in peace and with the reduced likelihood of being murdered,’ Dr. Phillips said.
He told journalists that the PNP’s anti-crime plan has considered the urgent need for police reform and the development of a modern legislative framework for crime-fighting.
This crime plan initiative would include a New Intelligence Act that enhances the capacity of law enforcement, using technology, to collect usable intelligence while protecting the rights of citizens from improper intrusion into their privacy.
Dr. Phillips explained that the crime plan would also see massive investment in social intervention strategies, with clear and measurable goals to break the cycle of inequality, under-education and hopelessness.
“Education must be re-imagined. We will look at how we teach and train our children and provide a nurturing and loving environment for them to grow to become responsible citizens,” the Opposition Leader stated.
He argued that public engagement and education must work hand in hand in the fight against criminality as Jamaica will not win without public education and buy-in.
“All of this requires sustained execution - it is not an overnight exercise, we have to keep up the pressure, we must invest strategically and stay the course,” he said.
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