Saturday 22 September, 2018

Holness accuses Opposition of 'bad mind' as major crimes decline

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has moved to dismiss claims by the parliamentary opposition that the Government does not have an effective crime plan.

Buoyed by a near 17 per cent fall off in murders and double digit declines in most other major crimes, Holness has asserted that the oposition taken by the opposition is akin to ‘bad mind”.

"There is a plan, and it is working quite well. Any Jamaican who believes that what is happening (the decline in murders) is just by virtue of coincidence would be grossly mistaken or would have fallen prey to the very devious propaganda being spread by some agents who look on the success with bad mind," said Holness.

He was responding to questions from journalists during his quarterly media briefing at Jamaica House.

And although he was careful to point out that much more needs to be done,

The prime minister pointed to statistics released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force that showed that between January and August 11, murders have declined by 16.8 per cent; shootings are down 15.1 per cent; aggravated assault has fallen 22 per cent, robbery has dropped by 9.4 per cent while break-ins have declined by 7.2 per cent.

The prime minister acknowledged that the public had a right to be assured that the Government was taking decisive steps to deal with the crime situation. He insisted that Jamaicans were being kept in the loop.

"I can't go into all the details to tell you what it is that we're doing, but we've given the general outline, and I think that the public should now reject this political argument because that's all it is. That's the only thing they have to latch on to. If we were to come out and give details, that is to ensure that our plan doesn't work," Holness argued.

According to Holness, the ongoing states of emergency and zones of special operations in crime hotspots have forced the Government to disclose to Parliament details of the activities under those measures. He said these have facilitated debates that have seen the full participation of the Opposition.

“They are all strategy debates, and if you watch them the Opposition is there interrogating and probing and asking all kinds of questions. So in effect it's not just the Jamaica Labour Party policy. The Opposition is participating in it in Parliament at every step,” he stated.

 The prime minister also noted that in recent months the security forces have dismantled several criminal gangs, using unconventional means. “So there is a plan and it is working quite well,” he insisted.