Photo: Jamaica Government Information Service. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; and other key leaders across a wide cross section of Jamaica’s society today signed the National Consensus on Crime Memorandum of Understanding.

Jamaica, August 3rd 2020. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; and other key leaders across a wide cross section of Jamaican society, today signed the National Consensus on Crime Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU outlines the steps that must be taken for a permanent reduction in crime, including milestones and agreements on a monitoring and reporting mechanism.

The signing took place during the Crime Consensus Summit at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Prime Minister Holness said the signing signals a bipartisan approach to fighting crime and creating a robust mechanism to monitor and provide oversight.

He said that public disorder, crime and violence and limited consequences for breaches of the law have for too long characterized Jamaica’s security landscape.

Crime, he noted, is a significant threat to the country’s human and economic development, with high levels of criminality expressed most visibly in homicides.

Jamaica’s homicide rate is at an alarming level, with murders being recorded on the island at nearly eight times the global average.

Emphasizing the importance of consensus in addressing the issue, he said it is criminals who benefit directly from the “political, economic, social, cultural and infrastructural divides that continue to plague our society”.

“Criminals profit when there is a divide in strategy and policy in the Government,” Mr. Holness said, adding, “I take hope in this public commitment towards consensus.”

He pointed out that the MOU brings the people who can make a difference to the table, to publicly commit to a set of priorities.

For his part, Dr. Phillips noted that crime represents a fundamental threat to the survival of the country.