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Slow progress on crime consensus initiatives

By Halshane Burke

The civil society signatories to the National Consensus on Crime have raised concern about the delays in several of the agreed programmes and initiatives, particularly in the Legislative and Accountability pillars under Consensus 2022.

The Crime Monitoring and Oversight Committee (CMOC) says of the 38 agreements in the initial Consensus, 19 or 50% are either complete or at an advanced state of progress, 15 have been satisfactorily achieved and four have had their timelines reset.

The Oversight Committee says of the lagging agreements, four are flagged Green, meaning that they are on track to being met, ten are flagged Red, meaning timelines have been missed without new target dates being agreed, and five are flagged Amber, meaning they are tracking behind and likely to miss the agreed timeline.

The Oversight Committee acknowledged the progress made by the Government in resolving longstanding issues such as the promulgation of the Public Bodies Management & Accountability Act and a new Firearms Act, as well as significant progress with Jamaica Constabulary Force Transformation.

Stakeholders expressed disappointment in the slow progress made in advancing some critical elements of the Consensus.

They specifically highlighted the Enhanced Security Measures Act, Bribery Act, and the provision for Unexplained Wealth Orders in the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In discussing the way forward, the committee identified key considerations for refreshing and updating the Consensus. 

They include the addition of measures with a short-term focus towards expediting the reduction of violent crime – acknowledging that the previous agreement largely focused on medium to long term initiatives for delivering a sustainable reduction in crime, violence, and corruption.

They also want to see updated timelines and milestones for outstanding and/or unachieved items from the initial agreement, as well as increased alignment with government policy and investment priorities.