Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting has announced that a branch of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) will be opened in Montego Bay within one month.
The office will be located in Bogue.
The decision to open a FLA office in Montego Bay resulted from concerns raised by citizens of western parishes regarding the dangerous task of having to travel to Kingston with their licensed firearms to have them re-certified.
Minister Bunting was speaking on Thursday (September 20) at a meeting with the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry held at its’ office in Overton Plaza.
The meeting, which was requested by the Chamber of Commerce following an upsurge in violent crimes, provided an opportunity for members of the Chamber and other concerned citizens to have meaningful discussion regarding national security issues in Montego Bay.
According to Minister Bunting “crime, violence and corruption are the main obstacles to rapid growth and development in Jamaica.”
He said further that Jamaica’s extraordinarily high levels of crime have meant that today the economy is at best one third or at worst one tenth the size it would otherwise be if crime levels were not as high.
Outlining the approach being taken to address this problem the minister said the policy response will be implemented through a two-pronged approach - a control track and a prevention track.
The Minister urged the Chamber and other well-thinking Jamaicans, including the church to support the Ministry of National Security and the JCF in whatever way they can. “The church can be a part of it, just make it clear that scamming is robbery; it is robbery just as if you had held up somebody at gun-point or knife-point”, he said.
He also urged persons to embrace a culture change that is not as accepting of criminal activity. “One paradigm shift that we can make that won’t cost a huge amount of money is culture change and that is really going to take leadership” he said.
Prior to meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, Minister Bunting, Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington, other members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and a team from the Ministry of National Security toured sections of St. James including Granville, Maroon Town and Cambridge.
Posted By :Gillian Haughton
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