Crime down but no letting up, says Bunting

Security Minister Peter Bunting (second left) addresses a meeting yesterday at the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in New Kingston to discuss security issues affecting the tourism sector. Listening (from left) are Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill and Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams. (PHOTO: JIS)

SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting says there will be no letting up in the fight against crime despite the country seeing reductions in all categories of violent crimes.

“We are seeing double-digit reductions right across the board in all serious and violent crimes in Jamaica. We know we are not where we need to be but at least we are closing in on being in line with the rest of the Caribbean and we are not going to let up until we are below the Caribbean average,” Bunting told a meeting yesterday at the tourism ministry’s New Kingston offices to discuss security matters affecting the tourism sector.

He said there have been “dramatic reductions” in Westmoreland, where violent crime is down “very significantly this year”, adding that murders in the parish have been reduced by almost 50 per cent “and we are seeing encouraging results right across the board”.

In the parish of St James, he said, “We are starting to see some modest improvement there and we are not going to let up.”

Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams, in his address at the meeting, made it clear that the mission of the Jamaica Constabulary Force is to ensure that people are safe.

“It doesn’t matter that the people are tourists or locals. We want to ensure that we create an environment in which people can do their business lawfully without harassment and without any fear of victimisation,” Williams said. More police officers, said the commisisoner, have been placed in public spaces to ensure that citizens can go about their business safely.

“We are aware of the importance of the tourism product and we are doing everything to ensure that the resort areas are safe,” he stated.

Said Williams: “We have on the slate some reassignments to be done to ensure that there is tighter management of policing resources in some of the resort areas, even as we deal with the general policing issues in those areas to ensure that there is a sense of security not just for tourists, but also for locals.”

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill and other tourism stakeholders also attended the meeting.


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