Published On: Wed, Oct 3rd, 2012

Jamaicans hit the streets to protest crime and violence

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Caribbean 360 reports that law-abiding Jamaicans have had more than enough of crime and violence and vented their outrage with a march on Friday protesting the country’s continued crime wave, particularly the recent gang rape of five women including an eight-year-old girl in Irwin, St James.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting referred to the incident as a potential turning point for the country.

“This horrible incident can be a watershed, a turning point, an opportunity for all people of goodwill in Montego Bay and in Jamaica to decide that we are collectively going to ensure that we all turn our face against criminality of any sort; against harbouring criminals in our homes and in our communities, and starting to ensure that our children, our women and our boys are not exposed to what happened,” the minister told a group in St James.

“Your children deserve better, your parents and grandparents deserve better,” Bunting said. “I read in the media of so many young ladies, students and persons of all ages who feel they have to run home and lock up behind burglar bars, as they are afraid to be on the road when night falls. This is the time to take a stand, turn your face against all types of criminality.”

The security minister encouraged the people of Jamaica, which has been grappling with a severe crime problem for some time, to take a stand against all forms of crime, from illegal lottery scams to brutal murders.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said she endorsed the protests, which she said were a signal that Jamaica would not tolerate crime and violence.

The prime minister revealed that government was drafting regulations to accompany the Sexual Offences Act to include a provision for a sex offenders’ registry. They will soon be taken before cabinet, she said.

“The government’s resolve in providing the required resources, support and laws to fight crime has been strengthened and we are moving swiftly to implement measures such as the sex offenders’ registry which is already provided for in law,” Simpson Miller said.

The Jamaican leader noted that the protests sent “a powerful, unequivocal and unmistakable message to criminals that they will find no escape from the law and no refuge among law-abiding Jamaicans.”

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