In a national address delivered recently – and also in a presentation made before Parliament on 3rd May, 2011 – Minister of National Security, Deputy Prime Minister Sam T. Condor outlined a 10-point plan as part of the Anti-Crime Initiative.
The first named by the Deputy Prime Minister is to introduce a form of the Racketeer – Influenced and Criminal Organisations (RICO) Act.
“This is an Act enforced in the USA and some Caribbean Countries, with stringent penalties for repeat offenders. This Legislation will also enable security forces to apprehend, not only those who commit the crime, but also gang -leaders and others, who stay in the background and direct, support, manipulate or benefit from criminal activities. This Act will give the police authority to target and detain trouble makers, and also those who purchase stolen goods.
“In fact, the work envisaged with the Attorney General’s Office, is quite comprehensive and includes the upgrading of legislation pertaining to a broad cross section of Laws, that support the Anti-Crime Initiative.”
The second point speaks to law enforcement officers being provided with the equipment necessary – including bullet-proof vests and vehicles – to fight crime. Condor expressed appreciation to members of the corporate community in making their willingness to assist in this regard known. He also informed that the Chamber of Industry and Commerce will be shortly engaged in support-soliciting discussion.
“Because of their expertise in the area of gang-warfare, the Government of Israel will be requested, in addition to the training in Intelligence- Gathering, to assist in our efforts at apprehending and prosecuting criminals and gang members. We anticipate the assistance of our Allies in upgrading the arrangements for surveillance of our seas and borders. We aim to effectively block drugs and weapons from entering our shores; and to keep track of criminals and their activities.
“We recognize our interdependence and the importance of close cooperation in seeking to control new and emerging transnational threats that endanger the very fabric of our society. Because of our small size, our geographic location, insufficient technical and financial resources, we find ourselves particularly vulnerable to these risks and threats. Hence, the need for working closely with our Allies.”
The National Security Minister also spoke to the upgrade of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) System, the use Island Constables as provided in the Island Constables Act and the increase drug-crime preventing raids as measures which are part of the Anti-Crime Strategy.
An interesting part of the plan is government’s facilitation of “citizens’ protection of self and property by such measures as:-
(a) The re-examination of the process for the issuance of Firearm Licenses; also to give assistance with relevant training for qualified individuals.
(b) Liberalize the licensing regime to allow for importation and use of non-lethal personal protection. Mace and pepper-spray will be allowed in special circumstances – particularly to assist in protecting females from molestation.
(c) Incentivize home owners and businesses to purchase security equipment for their protection.
(d) Incentives inclusive of training will also be offered to promote Private Security Agencies to establish mobile -patrol and other security services, so as to free up the Security Forces to focus on other aspects of crime fighting.”
Mention was also made of restructuring of the “administrative leadership” of the National Security Ministry as well as the institution of a “Multi-party Parliamentary Select Committee on Crime and Violence”.
Condor suggested that the Federation’s Anti-Crime Initiative, would – in large measure seek to adopt the principles of the “Broken Windows Theory” which are, “There is no minor crime (and) if things are broken, fix them immediately.”
Whatever the strategy entails, the Deputy Prime Minister reminded that “every citizen and every resident has an important part to play.”