Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, on Wednesday announced a zero-tolerance approach towards criminal offenders in a bid to collar the raging crime monster that has driven fear into the hearts of law-abiding citizens.
Speaking during a hastily-called press conference at Jamaica House in Kingston following a special meeting of the country’s Cabinet, Holness said the main targets were those who committed crimes of domestic violence, sexual abuse and grooming of minors.
His announcement came in the wake of a rise in vicious crimes against women and children in recent weeks.
Insisting that the announcement was not a knee jerk reaction, Holness identified a deep cultural rot as the root cause of those particular crimes and warned that the coming crime measures will cause shift in the manner the country has operated.
“The Government will be using existing laws, which include preventative detention in live and imminent situations of domestic violence, sexual abuse and grooming of minors to remove aggressors from the scene, thereby de-escalating the situation,” he said.
He added that at an appropriate time he will be combining all the elements Government has been working on to tackle crime.
A key pillar of the zero-tolerance approach, will see the police, in tandem with the Transport Authority, targeting illegal ‘robot’ (taxis as of Monday next week, and will remove dark tints from all public passenger vehicles.
In the last 13 months the police have arrested and charged 1,442 persons for of crimes against women and children.
Acting Police Commissioner Novelette Grant, also spoke at the press conference and revealed that 86 people had been nabbed for shooting, 67 for murder, 252 for rape, 280 for robbery, 202 for sexual offences/indecent assault, 237 for sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16, 169 for break-ins, while 54 were held for larceny.