Jamaica News: The Ministry of National Security has expanded its partnership with Crime Stop to include a special reward scheme to improve investigations of murders of the country’s most vulnerable, especially children and the elderly.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said that this added incentive is intended to encourage more persons to come forward with useful information “to assist with the investigations, arrest and successful prosecutions of the guilty parties”.
Crime Stop is a partnership of the community, the police and the media that is designed to involve the public in the fight against crime.
The initiative encourages the public to give information by offering a cash reward and total anonymity for information that leads to an arrest, recovery of stolen property or the seizure of illegal drugs or guns.
Dr. Chang, who was making a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 30), decried the recent spate of attacks on vulnerable persons, and assured that the Government is stepping up measures to nab perpetrators of such crimes.
He noted that while there is a 29 per cent decline in the overall number of children murdered when compared to last year, “the attacks on these vulnerable groups appear to be more heinous and barbaric and are cause for grave concern to the Government”.
A total of 38 children have been killed since the start of the year.
Dr. Chang said the National Security Ministry is on a drive to bolster police investigations in these matters.
“We know that while we would prefer preventative measures to deter perpetrators, there is also a need for measures to guarantee that a perpetrator will be caught if he commits a crime,” he said.
Dr. Chang noted that the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch and the Criminal Investigative Branch (CIB) with the support of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), will bring increased focus to investigating these incidents to identify and apprehend individuals associated with these heinous acts.
“These branches will work with the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), which will be strengthened to adequately investigate crimes against these vulnerable groups,” he said.
Dr. Chang said the Government is also strengthening the legal framework to provide greater protection to women, children and the elderly as well as to strengthen the legal authority to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“It must be that where offences are committed, we have severe penalties that act as deterrents to these crimes. Justice must be swift, sure and severe,” he asserted.
In this regard, Dr. Chang noted that a Joint Select Committee of Parliament has recently concluded deliberations on a suite of laws, namely the Sexual Offences Act, the Domestic Violence Act, the Child Care and Protection Act and the Offences Against the Person Act.
“At the heart of this review was the special emphasis placed on the protection of the vulnerable… . A number of submissions were made by members of the public and various government and non-governmental organisations to the joint select committee, which is now compiling a report to be submitted to Parliament,” he indicated.
In the meantime, Dr. Chang appealed for the assistance of well-thinking Jamaicans in bringing criminals to justice who carry out vicious attacks on the nation’s most vulnerable.
“We again encourage Jamaicans to come forward and stand up for what is right. No one with information that could lead to the arrest of any criminal should remain silent. The police are depending on the cooperation of all Jamaicans to come forward to assist us in this fight,” he said.
Source: JIS News