Phillips vows to win battle against crime
BYRON BUCKLEY, Senior political reporter
Thursday, January 10, 2002
A tough-talking Dr Peter Phillips, minister of national security, vowed yesterday to wage a determined battle, with all the resources of the state, to recover law and order in the country.
"We are going to do this by establishing the principles that there is one law for all. And that no one... is above the law," Phillips told guests at the official opening of a Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) branch at Portmore Pines in St Catherine.
Phillips' declaration of war against crime came against the background of over 20 murders since the start of the year and 1,138 murders recorded in 2001. Just this week, three men were shot and killed off Mountain View Avenue in Kingston, coming in the aftermath of the gruesome shooting death of seven persons, including two children, in premises on 100 Lane off Red Hills Road in Kingston.
The rash of criminality has forced the Cabinet to dedicate its meeting next Monday to finding solutions to the problem.
Said Phillips yesterday: "We can't guarantee victory tomorrow morning... or in six months or one year. But it is a battle which we will win and which we dare not lose if we are to fulfil our obligation to the future generations which look to us."
"So let those who beset us know, no matter how long it takes, no matter what resources it takes, Jamaica will again become a land of peace."
Phillips said he took hope from the fact that because institutions like the JNBS have survived over many generations, Jamaica would also survive.
He described the company's action of expanding its enterprise as "the best vote of confidence in Jamaica's future".
The 127-year-old JNBS, which has assets of $25 billion, opened it 22nd branch in Portmore last December and has added 500 new customers since then. According to Earl Jarrett, general manager of JNBS, the Portmore Pines branch will offer services provided by NEM Insurance Company, a subsidiary of JNBS.
Other services such as JN Fund Manager and JN Micro Credit will also be provided from the Portmore Pines Branch, Jarrett said.