Jamaica Developing a National Strategy to Target Criminal Entities and Combat Organized Crime

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says it is developing a national strategy to target key crime producers and create an environment for sustained crime reduction and increased economic growth and prosperity.

HChangDr. Horace Chang (Photo courtesy of JIS)Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said that organized crime is a major setback for national development and a hindrance to inclusive economic growth and the3 strategy is in keeping with Plan Secure Jamaica.

“The development of a national strategy to combat organized crime is imperative and will take the island one step closer to realizing Plan Secure Jamaica, by tackling key players who are often well-educated, tech-savvy young males,” he said.

He said the Andrew Holness government is commitment to disrupting, deterring, detecting, and prosecuting criminal elements involved in both domestic and transnational organized crime, stating that Jamaica will not be a safe haven for organized criminal groups.

Chang, who was speaking at a three-day technical workshop on the strategy’s development in Montego Bay, St James, south of here, urged workshop participants, in their deliberations, to consider emerging organised crimes such as trafficking in persons, cybercrimes, extortion and illicit guns for drugs and guns for food trade.

“I can assure you that this national strategy will receive the highest level of support from the government, even as we work collectively to enhance our capacity to identify and analyze organized crime threats and make our country a safe place to live, work and do business,” he said.

The country’s National Organized Crime Strategy is being developed by a technical working group jointly chaired by the Ministry, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency.

It also comprises representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Financial Investigations Division (FID), the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), Jamaica Custom Agency (JCA), Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and University of the West Indies (UWI).

Development of the national organized crime strategy aligns with Jamaica’s obligations under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and promotes cooperation to prevent and combat transitional organized crime more effectively.

As of July 6th, Jamaica has recorded 760 murders as compared with 739 for the same period last year.  The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said that 595 gun-related murders this year as against 654 for the same period in 2021.