First Look

Statement by Hon. Robert Montague, MP Minister of National Security

0 | 2016-09-13 00:00:00

The Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague has roundly rejected the false claim by the Opposition Spokesman on National Security that the Ministry has not commenced the process to procure additional vehicles for the JCF. On the contrary, Minister Montague has pointed out that the procurement process is well underway to acquire 250 motor vehicles, of which a batch of 50 will be received for deployment within the next two weeks.

“We are pleased to note that Mr. Bunting is now fully on board with our move to purchase used motor vehicles for the JCF. He will recall his initial objections to this decision. Moving forward, this Minister and the Ministry will not be found in violation of any of the Government of Jamaica’s procurement guidelines to acquire these vehicles, and I appeal for all to be patient with the process.”

The Transport and Repairs Division of the JCF in the meantime, has been implementing ‘Operation Quick Fix’, a rapid response initiative to repair and re-deploy police vehicles that can be made roadworthy within a short period. Some of these vehicles have been in disrepair from as far back as 2014.

To date, ‘Operation Quick Fix’, which has received funding to the tune of $50 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund has repaired and handed over 53 cars with an additional 21 to be delivered this week.

Citizen security, including the safety of law enforcers themselves, is high on the policy agenda of the MNS. Two thousand five hundred ballistic vests and 1,000 helmets are being procured for the police; and the number of users downloading the under-utilized Stay Alert personal security app has more than quadrupled in the past three months.

Legislatively, the Ministry of National Security has played a central role in the formulation of the latest amendments to the Road Traffic Act, which has been reviewed by the Legislative Committee and other stakeholders, and will be tabled in the Parliament in short order. Similarly, the MOCA Act to institute the Agency in Law and grant it prosecutorial powers will also be taken to the Legislature in coming weeks, along with amendments to the Noise Abatement Act, the 1867 JCF Act and other pieces of legislation.

The Ministry of National Security will continue to work in close partnership with all stakeholders. Focused work over the past three months with groups such as the Umbrella Group of Churches, Private Sector companies, Trade Unions and Workers, our Custodes and Justices of the Peace, NGOs, and citizens at our town hall meetings, culminated in a National Citizen Security Conference attended by over two thousand persons.

Note should be made that over three months ago, we sought a meeting with the PNP. To date, there has been no response to our invitation, which remains open to the Opposition. We call upon Mr. Bunting to employ his energies and good office to facilitate this meeting so that constructive dialogue can be initiated, for the benefit of all. 

We also call on all Jamaica to unite, download the Stay Alert app and tell what they know

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