Tue | Oct 22, 2019

Lucea mayor wants to see national crime plan

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 12:23 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels.
Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels.

Western Bureau:

Mayor of Lucea Sheridan Samuels, who, unlike his colleagues in the neighbouring municipality, had made no comments on the state of public emergency (SOE), which was recently declared in Hanover, Westmoreland and St James, finally broke his silence on the ongoing security measure last Thursday.

During the monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation, Samuels released a statement on behalf of himself and the corporation, saying they were happy that what appears to be a serious effort to protect the citizens of the parish, which has emerged as a hotbed of violence in recent times, was being undertaken.

“While my council and I recognise that the Government of Jamaica has the sole responsibility to declare a state of emergency, we are pleased that efforts are made to protect the law-abiding citizens of this parish,” the statement read.

Asking for cooperation

“We are cognisant of the implications of a state of emergency to this parish, and for that we ask our citizens to continue to work with the instructions of the security forces,” the statement continued. “Equally, we will emphasise that our security forces remain alert in the enforcement of their duties, but also be respectful of the rights of each individual.

“Although we await a long-term crime-fighting plan from the Government, my council and I reaffirm our support in helping to eradicate this monster called crime,” the statement added.

In an interview with The Gleaner after the meeting, Samuels argued that there is the need for a national crime plan as, according to him, he does not believe the SOE is the solution to the problems the country is now experiencing.

“Everything has to be reviewed and at the end of the day, if it does not make any sense, it does not make sense it continues; because if it defeats its purpose, then I would not want to be a part of supporting something that does not work,” said Samuels.

“This is really a trial period, and we just cannot continue to have a state of emergency when we definitely need a crime plan to be put in place, and this state of emergency does not speak to that,” added Samuels.

He said he would like to see an early review done before any further decision is taken on whether or not to extend the SOE in the three parishes now under the enhanced security measures.