Additional Legislative Support to Boost Public Safety

Jamaica News: Additional legislative support to further boost public safety and citizen security will be pursued in earnest by the Government during 2019/20.

“Addressing crime and violence is one of the most challenging tasks that require practical initiatives supported by robust legislative and policy frameworks. In furtherance of securing Jamaica, this year, the Government has allocated significant capital expenditure for National Security and Defence,” Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has announced.

This will bolster measures that were undertaken in 2018 to disrupt criminal networks, protect Jamaica’s borders and meet the challenges of the future, “by embracing technology and improving intra- and inter-cooperation and coordination,” he said.

The Governor-General was delivering the Throne Speech at the 2019/20 Ceremonial Opening of Parliament at Gordon House, on Thursday (February 14), under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the New Prosperous Jamaica’.

He said that among the key pieces of legislation being targeted is the Police Act, which will facilitate the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) modernisation and transformation.

This, he informed, is ready for Cabinet approval and subsequent tabling in the Houses of Parliament.

The Governor-General also advised that the Enhanced Security Measures Act will be developed and tabled this year.

“It must be noted that the Act requires focused unity of purpose, as we must speak with one voice,” he emphasised.

The proposed National Security Council Act, which will facilitate the Council’s establishment in law, will also be introduced during the course of the new parliamentary year.

Survey of Squatter Settlements to be Undertaken

The Governor-General also informed that amendments to the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, currently before a Joint Select Parliamentary Committee, is slated for completion this year.

Additionally, regulations for the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) Act are currently being prepared to provide the necessary support.

The Governor-General also announced that the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) will be amended to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s Mutual Evaluation of Jamaica, conducted in 2016, “as well as to update the Act for greater effectiveness”.

He said that the proposed merger of the Police Services Commission and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, earmarked for this year, will facilitate the development of one oversight body to monitor and evaluate the JCF’s performance.

 

Source: JIS News

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