Spiralling crime in Hanover on Govt's radar

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 17, 2018

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INDUSTRY COVE, Hanover — Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is paying attention to spiralling crime in Hanover.

The prime minister, who was addressing a National Housing Trust (NHT) ground-breaking ceremony for 63 housing units being constructed at Industry Cove in the parish yesterday, disclosed that discussions are regularly had with Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson on the situation.

“We see that there are signs of entrenchment of gangs, some are spillover from St James, some from Westmoreland, and we have to address that,” Holness said.

“This beautiful parish should not be contributing to the [country's] murder rate. And it is within the power of the citizens to put an end to it. That is the truth,“ Holness continued.

The prime minister pointed out that while the security forces are doing what they can, residents have to do their part.

“We have given instructions and directions to the security forces. And I know that they have been successful in apprehending some of the persons who are suspected of committing the crimes. But that is not going to be enough. There has to be a stronger cooperation between the citizens and the police.

“And I can only speak to you as brothers and sisters. If I know that any of my family commits a crime or is a criminal, I am going to give them up. I can't say it any clearer than that... that is what it comes down to. Because one day they are going to turn on you, as we have seen in many of these instances that it is not stranger killing stranger; oftentimes, it is close friends and family members,” argued Holness.

“I speak to you now only as your brother, that we cannot give support and protection to the criminals that are in our midst,” he said.

Yesterday, the prime minister said plans are afoot to ensure there is orderly development of the tourism product in Hanover, which will provide employment and income for the average citizen.

However, he pointed out that security would be a major factor of the tourism product.

“Why are they (tourist) going to choose to come to Hanover? Tourism is about the hospitality of the people. Take away everything else, people come to visit you and if people are hearing that there is violence, and they are not safe, when they come, if they come, they are going to lock up in their hotel and that locks off the money from you because all of you can't work in the hotel,” said Holness.

“So it is in your interest to make sure that you create a climate and atmosphere in your communities that people can choose to come and visit you,” he added.

Just Wednesday night gunmen killed two people in Elgin Town in the parish.

Meanwhile, the 63 units being constructed by NHT includes 23 detached two-bedroom houses and 40 two-bedroom townhouse units. The housing scheme is to be called Industry Cove Manor and will be constructed on 4.94 hectares of land located 3.5 km north-east of Green Island, Hanover.

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