A truly safe country has citizens as the wardens of peace. That’s according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness who says the security of the nation cannot be solely left to the security forces. He made the statement while speaking at the official opening of the Port Antonio police station and Portland divisional headquarters.
Now, with the issue of security and safety still a major concern for many Jamaicans, the Prime Minister suggests that citizens get more involved in maintaining peace in their communities.
“A truly safe country is when the citizen is the warden of the peace meaning that the citizen wake up every morning and they look around their community and they say, ‘you see that little one over there -that one is the troublemaker,” said Prime Minister Holness. ” When all the citizens hold hands around that troublemaker and work with the police to share information on that troublemaker everyone is safer because of that.”
The Prime Minister says while this is needed, citizens are no longer taking on this role which leads to a lack of shared effort to stop criminal undertaking.
“What has broken down in our country is that we are no longer wardens of the peace in our community. We don’t hold hands and surround the troublemaker,” he pointed out. ” We cower behind our zinc fences and in our homes and we see them walk down the street with their firearms. We see them abuse people in the communities. We see them go to families and say I want your daughter. We see them try to control turfs so they can sell drugs.”
Prime Minister Holness says this behaviour must not continue in order to clamp down on crime in communities across the island.
“We must never allow that to happen in our communities and the process of reclaiming the community is not by the snap of a finger. It does not happen overnight,” said Holness.
“What we are facing now took forty years for it to happen. This Government has only been in power for four and a half years – and in that four and a half years, we have made the critical investment to make the change in society.”