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    Security Minister Says Jamaicans Must Reject Criminality

    By: Sharon Earle | Jamaica Information Service

    August 19, 2015

    Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, says Jamaicans must reject scamming, criminality, extortion, and gang violence at the familial and community levels, or the efforts of the police will come to nought.

    The Minister was speaking at a rally following the 10,000 Men and Their Families March for Peace at Dump-up Beach, in Montego Bay, on Sunday (August 16).

    Mr. Bunting said he is optimistic that the march signalled a higher level of public involvement in the fight aganist crime.

    “I am hopeful because the thousands of persons out here today can make a greater difference than another 200 police or another 500 police. The leadership provided by the Ministers’ Fraternal in St. James is a start and it is going to continue tomorrow, the next day, the next week, the next month, next year until we win the battle against crime and violence in St James,” the Minister said.

    He renewed his pledge to take back St. James from the hands of criminal elements; however, he is citing the role of families and communities in the fight.

    “If you say Jesus, say Jesus or if you say scammer, then you say scammer, because the Bible teaches us – ‘You cant serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon, and mammon is what you (are) getting from the scamming. If you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind,” Mr. Bunting warned.

    The Montego Bay march was organised by the St. James Ministers Fraternal, in collaboration with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), National Integrity Action (NIA), Child Development Agency (CDA), Office of the Children’s Advocate, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Social Development Commission SDC), and the St. James Parish Council.

    The main objectives were: re-emphasizing the importance of Biblical principles and values in the process of community and national development; and mobilizing men and their families to participate in a march to raise their consciousness of their role and place in the fight against crime and violence.

    According to the St. James Ministers Fraternal, the intention of the march was also to facilitate positive change in the communities of St. James and its environs, reflected in family life and paternal responsibilities, positive male role models and affirmation of the value of maleness as well as to recognize and celebrate the contribution being made by responsible men to community and nation building; and to facilitate the coming together of all stakeholders as a signalled pledge to approach crime fighting and violence prevention from a communal perspective.

    Also calling for families and communities to lead the fight, main speaker, Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Rev. Charles Dufour, addressed cynics and critics of the march.

    “Their cynicism does not change the power of the symbol of a march. …We are declaring that something is troubling us very deeply, we are declaring that something matters enough to us to take us out of our homes, off our verandahs, out of our church buildings, out of our bars and into the streets. Something very, very precious is at stake and we are not about to sit and watch it taken from us,” the Archbishop said.

    “Throughout history, peaceful marches have irreversibly disturbed the status quo, they have toppled regimes; and they have won struggles for liberation. A march is a symbol of a community’s resolve, its determination to act, its refusal to be held prisoner by any force. It means that the people are not just awake, they are roused,” he added.

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