Fitz Jackson, shadow minister of national security, has condemned the murder of Constable Kemar Francis of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and army Private Ren-Neil King of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), both of whom were murdered by gunmen in separate incidents while on duty.
Jackson said the murder of the lawmen demonstrated the brazenness of criminals, “who, it seems, are determined to carry out their illegal operations, no matter what, even if it means facing down the State with deadly force”.
He said the Government could not continue to plod along with no plan to address the crime and violence pandemic facing Jamaica because too many communities which were once safe had become hot spots and havens for criminals.
“We cannot surrender our defence to the lawless elements and sacrifice our young men or women, who join the uniformed forces in service of the nation. Their valour and selfless decision to put themselves in harm’s way in defence of their country must be highly commended. Especially so because they are operating without the benefit of an overarching plan from the Administration for more than four years to ensure that crime and violence is brought under control,” Jackson said.
The shadow minister said regular policing in the face of hardened criminals, with high-powered weaponry and who show no sign of fear to challenge the State, was not enough to protect the lives of the security personnel and the Jamaican nation.
Jackson said: “There is a need for intelligence-driven operations that can ensure that the right amount of support and assets are on the ground to address the issues and protect those engaged.”
In expressing condolences to the families and colleagues of Constable Francis and army Private King, Jackson said, “It is a sad and sobering moment to read the monthly crime statistic, which contains data on serious crime, including murders.”