Monday, 13 June 2022 09:29

No need to fear tougher security measures - Holness

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness has sought to assure those concerned about tougher crime measures being contemplated by his administration, saying there's no intention to proceed unreasonably.

The government recently announced that it was seeking to prevent persons charged for murder and gun crimes from getting bail.
Mr Holness, speaking Sunday at a meeting of the governing Jamaica Labour Party's  Area Council 2 in Sydenham, St Catherine, acknowledged that there is fear that legislative changes are meant to take away the rights of citizens.
He stressed however that the changes proposed by the government will only apply in limited situations.
Mr. Holness noted that the new Firearm Act is now before Parliament and the Bail Act will be laid soon.
He added that the government will next be seeking to address the issue of  the use of  emergency powers, through a new statute, the Enhanced Security Measures Act, which will incorporate some of the measures that were previously imposed under states of public emergency.
If included in the new law, he said these measures "would help us with the control of the criminal terrorists in our midst."
Mr. Holness, seemingly anticipating the possible response of judges to challenges to the new law when enacted, said the courts need to take into consideration the national sentiment in relation to the state of  crime in the country.
The judicial system "should take note of the frustration of the people," he suggested, adding that "justice is blind... but it should not be deaf."