Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill.
WITH THE murder rate in the country reeling at more than three persons per day since the beginning of the year, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill has expressed the view that criminal activity will not stop planned investments slated to take place in the country.
Arguing that the Government has the issue of crime and violence in its crosshairs, Hill said that both Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, along with the security forces, are working assiduously to contain the issue as the Government invests heavily in the area of crime prevention.
Hill quoted some statistics that would give the impression that the murder figures for January 2022 can be looked at as a normal occurrence.
“We have a spike. If you look at the last, probably, 10 years, every January after Christmas we have a spike. In fact, I was looking at the numbers, and one year we had 170 people killed in January. We are not at that number now, we are less. What we have now is far too high, but I am very sure that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, and the security forces, are seriously going to attack crime,” he stated.
He made the comments during an interview with The Gleaner and used the occasion to also call on all Jamaicans to play their part in helping to curtail the level of crime and violence taking place across the country.
“People know who do the crimes, but they don’t always feel secure that if they come forward, they will not be at risk, so we (Government) are working in that area, and I think that big trial downtown (Clansman Gang trial) is sending the message to people that yes, you can come forward, and we will get the criminals, and you don’t have to die doing it because we have measures to protect, and we are developing more,” Hill stated.
“Jamaicans have to be involved (crime fighting), don’t encourage it, speak quietly to those who can help fix it, but you have a responsibility not to hide it, and that message must be absolutely clear to all of us as Jamaicans,” he emphasised.
While noting that he does not want to downplay the level of criminal activities taking place in the country, Hill drew reference to his years working in the Middle East, arguing that when Iraq was in the middle of a war, people would still go there to do business.
“We don’t want to be that, so we are working towards reducing crime. But we are going to have other things that people can recognise and will see that Jamaica has other benefits that are worthwhile, and we can do our business without being affected by crime,” he stated.
Source: The Gleaner
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