• Labour Day 2014 – Mayor Ramsay

    June 24, 2014


    Mayor of Mandeville Brenda Ramsay helps with construction work on Labour Day.

    Tree Lighting Ceremony and Concert Mandeville

    January 02, 2009


    During the Christmas holidays, the MP participated in a Tree Lighting Ceremony a nd Concert in the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville, hosted by Mayor Brenda Ramsay and the Council. There was a good turnout and we enjoyed a spirit of togetherness in marking the season.

    New car park in “The Bronx”

    November 29, 2008


    The Car Park in the precincts of the Mandeville Arcade known as “The Bronx” was completed and was outfitted with a Police Post. Congestion in the area has eased significantly.

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    Prison deal will only be signed after public education, says Bunting

    Jamaica Observer

    October 06, 2015

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of National Security Peter Buntings says the Government will only sign the Prisoner Transfer Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK), after adequate public education and debate, and the enactment of new legislation in the Jamaican Parliament.

    “In fact, we will start this process with the establishment of a Special Select Committee that will receive written and oral submissions on this issue by technical experts and all interested parties, including civil society and the Diaspora,” he said.

    In a statement to the House of Representatives today, the minister further noted that House Leader, Phillip Paulwell, will shortly bring a Resolution to establish the Special Select Committee.

    The Ministry of National Security engaged the UK Government in negotiations for over a year to secure a grant of £25 million towards the construction of a modern maximum security facility, contingent upon the signing of a Prisoner Transfer Agreement that was proposed by the UK Government.

    Only Jamaican citizens who would have been subject to deportation at the end of their sentences will be eligible for transfer to Jamaica. United Kingdom citizens in Jamaican prisons will also be eligible for transfer to the UK.

    “There are hundreds of Jamaicans deported every year to Jamaica, having served prison sentences for drug-related or violent offences in the United States of America or the UK, without the benefit of a structured reintegration process. Accelerating the return of a small percentage of these Jamaicans through a structured rehabilitation and reintegration process is a reasonable trade-off for a dramatic improvement in our prison conditions,” Bunting said.

    He further noted that the Prisoner Transfer Agreement calls for no more than 300 spaces to be reserved in this new prison for Jamaican citizens serving sentences in the UK, and who are subject to deportation at the end of their sentences.

    “In reality, the numbers are likely to be much less. The UK/Nigeria prisoner transfer agreement, which is in its second year, has only transferred one prisoner so far with another 16 in process. Nigeria has a higher number of prisoners in UK prisons than Jamaica,” the minister noted.

    The proposed purpose-built maximum-security prison would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 inmates, and would effectively resolve the problems of overcrowding and undesirable conditions, which now obtain at the Tower Street and St Catherine Adult Correctional facilities.

    In addition, Bunting said the Government was also successful in negotiating an additional £5.5 million towards the reintegration and resettlement of prisoners under the Prisoner Transfer Agreement.

    “The cost of rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners returned under the Prisoner Transfer Agreement will not be a burden on the public purse. Under no circumstances would the Prisoner Transfer Agreement be a net cost to Jamaican taxpayers. This can be achieved by limiting the period for which the Prisoner Transfer Agreement would be in effect,” he stated.

    Meanwhile, Bunting informed that an administrative and judicial review process would be in place to determine whether or not to accept each prisoner transfer request.

    He noted that the experience of other countries that have signed the Prisoner Transfer Agreement shows that each case is subject to legal and administrative processes.

    Conditions that may be included in a Prisoner Transfer Agreement are that: the sentenced person is a national of the receiving State; the sentenced person consents to the transfer or is subject to an order for expulsion, deportation or removal from the transferring State; no other legal proceedings relating to the offence or any other offence committed by the sentenced person are pending in the transferring State; the sentence relates to acts which also constitute an offence under the law of the receiving State; and the transferring and receiving States both agree to the transfer.

    “A net financial burden would not be transferred to the receiving country. The Government of Jamaica will have to finalize the cost of the new prison and seek to identify the remaining funds to build the new prison,” Bunting said.

    He noted that the new facility would be designed and constructed with a focus on rehabilitation, which should reduce the current high rates of recidivism.

    The minister further added that downtown Kingston would have the opportunity for the redevelopment of 30 acres of prime waterfront land, while noting that a similar opportunity for redevelopment would be possible in Spanish Town.

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    Unite for Change boosts effort to fight crime

    Jamaica Observer

    September 20, 2015

    ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, has been revving up the Unite for Change campaign, particularly in the rural parishes, in which he has been calling for a more united effort in the fight against crime.

    He emphasised that the approach has to be frontal and steadfast, where the criminals will realise that there is no safe haven from which to operate.

    At a recent handing over ceremony for the Ocho Rios closed circuit television surveillance system, Bunting noted that even with the most effective of strategies, the security forces cannot work in isolation.

    “It will take a united effort from the citizens of this country…from communities across the island, to help in the fight against crime,” he explained.

    “This will take a whole society approach. We welcome the support from the community leaders, from the families, from the church. This is something we must all tackle together as a nation. This is what Unite for Change is all about,” the minister said.

    Taking the message into the western parishes over the past months, particularly St James, Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland, Bunting has been telling community leaders that they have to take the fight to the criminals, listing the lottery scam as the leading ill facing the region.

    Launched on December 5, 2013, by the Ministry of National Security, the Unite for Change Initiative is a national movement and public awareness campaign, aimed at “empowering each citizen to take back Jamaica from the clutches of criminal elements.”

    According to Bunting, it is also designed to “rekindle hope among Jamaicans and convince law-abiding citizens that they are not helpless, but can overcome the fear that has immobilised them, by working together as a united front against crime.”

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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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    Crime solution

    Guns alone don’t kill people; it’s the culture of violence that needs changing, says Bunting

    By: Anthony Lewis | Jamaica Observer

    August 03, 2015

    MONTEGO BAY, St James — National Security Minister Peter Bunting believes that controlling the flow of guns into Jamaica will not, by itself, solve the country’s crime problem. What is needed, as well, is a change in the culture of violence.

    “Guns alone don’t kill people,” Bunting told a forum in Montego Bay last Thursday evening staged by Generation 2000, the youth affiliate of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party.

    Bunting argued that “although the US has more guns per capita than any other country in the world, they have a low average murder rate — about four per 100,000. So, it is the culture of violence that we will have to deal with”.

    In an apparent effort to strengthen his argument, Bunting added: “If you don’t remove the culture of violence, even if you remove all the guns, people would start cutting each other’s throats, or chopping up each other with machetes.

    “We have to deal with the culture of violence where you have a domestic dispute and it ends up in a quadruple murder. That is what we have to deal with,” the minister insisted.

    Bunting was responding to a suggestion from the floor made by Wayne Erskine that the national security ministry and the police place greater focus on the country’s borders in their effort to stem the inflow of guns and ammunition.

    “So, instead of having the police running around trying to chase down one or two guns, try to lock it down from the points of entry and that, in my view, to some extent, will curtail the number of ammunition available to persons in the streets,” Erskine said.

    “Because, one of the major things the proceeds of the lottery scam go towards is that. These young people, the moment they find themselves with an additional $500,000, they go and get some extra guns before they even add on a room to their homes,” Erskine added.

    But Bunting said that even though that strategy has been tried, there are challenges, among them the large coastal border that the Coast Guard has to monitor and the easy access to guns in the United States.

    He reminded the audience of a planned donation of 17 new patrol boats from the US Government first reported by the Jamaica Observer in June this year.

    The Observer story had revealed that 10 27-foot patrol vessels will be presented to the Police Marine Division, along with a boat maintenance facility at its Kingston headquarters, maintenance tools, and training.

    Delivery of those boats, the US Embassy in Kingston said, is expected in August.

    The Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard will receive seven 37-foot patrol vessels either late this year or early 2016.

    The boats are costing the American Government US$6.4 million. Funding, the US Embassy said, is being provided through the Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Section, and the US Department of Defense.

    “These will be able to patrol the Jamaican coast, protect Jamaican coastal waters, protect fishermen, prevent drug smuggling, and prevent gun smuggling and trafficking in persons,” US Ambassador to Jamaica Luis Moreno had told the Observer.

    Last Thursday’s forum was held under the theme ‘Impact of Crime on the Economy’ at the Montego Bay Community College Lecture Theatre located on Alice Eldemire Drive.

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    National Security Ministry tackling root causes of crime

    Jamaica Observer

    July 21, 2015

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, says the ministry is putting resources into tackling the root causes of crime in the country.

    Among the areas of focus is improving parenting, including addressing the problem of absent fathers.

    “We are doing a lot of work on this issue. We’re running parenting campaigns in the media, we’re supporting the Parenting Commission (and) the National Association for the Family,” Minister Bunting said at the Partnership for Jamaica Retreat, held recently at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston.

    He said research shows that boys, who grow up without a father in the home, are more likely to be involved in criminal activities.

    “(They are) five times more likely to be involved in a violent incident, nine times more likely to join a gang, five or six times more likely to have mental health issues,” he pointed out.

    The ministry is also engaging young people in crime and violence prevention initiatives.

    “We had a national forum on youth violence prevention… (with) about 1,000 persons participating. We solicited 450 volunteers from that who are going to be mentoring youth and parents (and) work with the juveniles in the correctional system to divert them from re-offending,” Bunting informed.

    Another strategy, he said, is the training of persons by the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), in order to reduce violence in communities, noting that “more resources have been channeled into this area than ever before.”

    Minister Bunting noted that the measures being put in place will not bring immediate results but “this is something that is going to give us a result in the next generation. It’s the right thing to do and we’re putting resources into that.”

    The minister in the meantime, noted that while Jamaica has experienced a spike in murders for the first half of the year, a 2014 Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) study shows that the country is ranked among the lowest in the region in crime victimisation.

    Crime, he pointed out, is a community problem as most incidents occur at home or within the neighbourhood. This supports the claim by the local Violence Prevention Alliance that 85 per cent of crimes are committed by persons who are known to the victims.

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    Security Minister commends PICA staff

    June 01, 2015 | Jamaica Observer

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, has commended the staff of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), for the hard work they put in to process the many persons applying for passports over the last two weeks.

    Bunting, who addressed the staff at the temporary location at the National Indoor Sports Centre on May 29, said he publicly acknowledges the outstanding commitment of the PICA team who, for the last two weeks, worked long hours to process approximately four times the average daily volume of passport applications.

    “This involved transferring much of the head office passport systems and operations to the National Indoor Sports Centre during week two. As someone with wide experience across a variety of organisations, I can confidently state that few organisations in either the public or private sector could have responded as well as PICA’s team to the fourfold increase in throughput,” the minister said.

    He also said he wished to thank the Police and other agencies that provided critical assistance during this period.

    PICA had to relocate to the Centre on May 26 from their Constant Spring Road headquarters to deal with the many applicants for passports, ahead of the new fees which took effect today (June 1). The PICA staff has returned to their headquarters.

    Since announcement of the new fees on May 17, PICA processed 10,576 applications for the first week for the entire island and 9,708 last week.

    The cost for a regular adult passport has moved from $4,500 to $6,500; and a passport for a minor has moved from $2,700 to $4,000. At the same time, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors.

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    Police Post To Be Established At Spanish Town Bus Park

    By: Shelly-Ann Irving

    May 8, 2015

    A police post will be established at the Spanish Town bus park as part of long-term measures to address crime in the area, including extortion by criminal gangs.

    National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, made the disclosure on May 7, during a tour of the St. Catherine North Police Division.

    He said the move came out of a meeting with key stakeholders in the town, prior to the tour, including the Parish Council, operators of the bus park, the police, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and the church.

    At the meeting, the strategies to be implemented were discussed and a working group was established under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake.

    The police post, the Minister said, will ensure a permanent police/military presence in the bus park, which has been losing funds due to extortion by criminal gangs.

    He said the operation of the bus park will also be overhauled to bring it under the strict control of the Parish Council.

    This, he said, will ensure that the revenues it generates go back to the council and into the communities in a legitimate way, and not to support criminal activity.

    “We do not want any of the factions (or) criminal enterprises to have access to these funds. We have to establish a lawful system under the supervision of the police and military and ensure that we totally stamp out criminal activity,” the Security Minister said.

    “We believe that part of this long-term solution has to be to eliminate the source of funds for these criminal gangs. “As long as there is funding, they will be able to keep recruiting additional persons,” he stressed.

    Installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV), to provide additional security in areas in proximity to the bus park, will also be explored.

    Residents of St. Catherine North will be engaged in social intervention programmes with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the church, and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to change the culture of gang leadership in communities.

    It is proposed that the measures will be implemented by early July, with short-term strategies employed until then.

    President of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches, Bishop Rowan Edwards, welcomed the efforts of the Security Ministry to bring order to St. Catherine North.

    “I know it is a challenge… but the church is standing with him and several interest groups across St. Catherine are working with the Minister to tame this giant (of crime),” he said.

    The Bishop also urged residents to join the fight to “confront those in the minority, who are trying to control the majority.”

    The touring party, which included members of the security forces and community stakeholders, visited areas such as New Nursery, Greendale and Thompson Pen, and met with residents, including victims recently affected by crime in the division.

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    ‘Thousands of jobs could be lost if lottery scam is not controlled’


    MINISTER OF National Security Peter Bunting has said the economic value of the tourist resort of Montego Bay is under threat and thousands of jobs could be lost if the illegal lottery scam is not brought under control.

    “We have taken the anti-lotto scam task force and brought it under MOCA (Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force), recognising that while the individual players in the lotto scam might not rise to the kingpin level, but collectively, it represents a clear and present danger to Jamaica,” said Bunting, during an address to the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Thursday. “… it represents a huge risk to the economy of St James.”

    According to the security minister, the people most likely to be affected are those employed to call centres and the tourism sectors.

    “if we can’t make some real dents in what is going on now, certainly your whole call centre is going to be threatened and 10,000 or so jobs,” continued Bunting, “Certainly your tourism is going to be at risk as well, people are going to be fearful that they come here and if they run a credit card, information is skimmed off and they might become the victims of fraud.”

    “Once you get that international reputation, you are going to find there is going to be a negative impact on the economy,” continued Bunting.

    Read full Gleaner article here:http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120926/lead/lead93.html

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