Custom Search 1

New commission to tackle crime in Jamaica

VIOLENCE: Jamaica's prime minister Andrew Holness says the media has a part to play in tackling crime in the country

JAMAICA’S PRIME minister Andrew Holness has announced that a new commission will be set up to tackle crime in the country.

The plans for the crime commission’s remit include the examination of all aspects of violence in Jamaica and the development of solutions to address it.

Holness said: “The government recently adopted several measures that have been effectively addressing the crime issue. The real challenge remains and that is the use of violence. Violence is at an epidemic proportion and that is mostly, from my perspective, a social issue, it has cultural roots. But the only way to effectively deal with that is through our media.”

The announcement was made in Kingston on Monday at the 49th annual general assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and Public Media Alliance.

In his address, Holness urged the media to join the fight against the occurrence of serious crime and violence, naming the industry as a stakeholder in the commission.

He said with a free press and access to information come great responsibilities and highlighted a need to look into how the media “promotes, projects, produces and publicises content that could any way support violence”.

He added: “Content with violent overtones can’t be left without editorial note to say this is not good for our society, or this is not the behaviour that we promote. Yes, you are a free press; and yes, you can put out whatever content you choose to but there is always the concern for the public good. What do you stand for as media; what are the standards that you maintain in your media house? And there is nothing wrong with you putting out, promoting or projecting the high standards that you maintain so that the public has balance and has enough information to place what they are with bombarded with every day in context.”

Holness also told the audience that the government has to increase its presence to ensure that positive messages circulate among the population.

Despite concerns over violence in the country, Holness yesterday tweeted statistics on that serious and violent crimes that showed murder is down by 16.8% and that shootings have reduced by 15.1%.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments