BY KIMONE FRANCIS Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, February 09, 2017
THE Andrew Holness-led Administration yesterday announced a zero-tolerance approach towards perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual abuse and grooming of minors signalling its approach towards arresting the growing crime wave sweeping the island.
The announcement of enforcing existing laws comes in the wake of an escalation in crimes against women and children in recent weeks.
Prime Minister Holness, at a hastily-called press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister following a special meeting of the Cabinet, suggested that the nation has been brought to its knees with crime because violence has been used as a currency of social transaction, effectively identifying its root as a cultural one.
Holness promised that the coming crime plan will undoubtedly cause disruption in the way 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 told journalists at the press conference, while insisting that the announcement is not a knee-jerk reaction.
He noted, too, that at an appropriate time he will be putting together all the elements Government has been working on to tackle crime.
But, as part of the zero-tolerance approach, the police, assisted by the Transport Authority, will be targeting ‘robot’ (illegal) taxis as of Monday next week, and will be removing dark tints from all public passenger vehicles.
The police have arrested and charged 1,442 perpetrators of crimes against women and children over the past 13 months.
Acting Police Commissioner Novelette Grant, who also spoke at the press conference, disclosed that 86 people had been held 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 under the category of crimes against women and children over the last 13 months.
At the same time, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo-Forte stressed that the preventative detention measure to be used complies with the constitution and laws of the country. more