Crime initiatives that the Government should have announced but did not

Frankly the press conference that was held last week to announce crime fighting initiatives was very disappointing to say the least.

These would have been the things I would have announced were I asked to come up with a plan.

Operational Initiatives 

  1. Zero tolerance approach to loader men and people extorting us to park downtown.
  2. Pushing through DNA legislation and regulations
  3. Extraction of DNA sample and bio-metric data from all deportees
  4. Dossiers of all criminal deportees to be provided to law enforcement officials in Jamaica before the arrival of each deportee in Jamaica. Should contain bio-metric data as well as criminal offence for which the person was arrested and or convicted.
  5.  Issuance of TRN number and national photo ID of all deportees on arrival in Jamaica
  6. Phone company be mandated to provide SIM and Tel # of all deportees who purchases a SIM card, to law enforcement officials (you need valid ID to purchase a sim card)
  7. Partnership with USA to get bio-metric data of all citizens of Jamaica landing on USA soil. Recall we are fingerprinted and pictures are taken at every USA port of Entry.
  8. Extract Photo and fingerprint from all persons who have been arrested
  9. Extract bio-metric data as well as DNA from all persons who have been arrested and charged for any criminal offence

 

Strategic & Tactical Initiatives

  1. Provide every police station with at least one computer to record all crime reports.
  2. Each station will be linked to central server for each parish. The parishes central server will be tied to the its county server.
  3. All 3 county servers will now be tied to central server located at a high security location which will be the HQ of a special police unit.
  4. Employee 14 university graduates   and assign to one police across Jamaica to complete data analysis of crime pattern across each parish.
  5. Data analysis from these analysts will be useful to refine strategies for specific parishes. They would be tasked to look for patterns in crime, to detect trends and possible factors that appear before or after certain crimes. Interesting data could be, when police operations increase in Clarendon, we see lower crime in Clarendon but an increase in say St Catherine. That kind of analysis will allow you to therefore target Clarendon  and  St Catherine  simultaneously  as well as the routes across the borders between the two.
  6. Make MOCA a full and independent law enforcement unit. which will house the criminal database for DNA, crime, bio-metric etc.
  7. GOJ will employee a cadre of data Analytics specialist( at the database center) to sort and analyse this data at a national level. This data will be used by national security adviser(NSA) to help formulate national crime fighting strategies.
  8. Recruit and form at least two Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) one for Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine  and one for St James, Westmoreland and Hanover. These teams will be used only for special situation eg where a gang would need to be surgical taken down, a task which should not be assigned to local police officers.

 

The above are not very difficult to put put in place and are steps I believe would go a far way in pushing crime, specially murders down to manageable levels

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The Banking Services (Amendment) Act, 2016

I believe the intent of the act is good, given the fact that banks have sought to impose a heavy burden on the consumers for far too long.

Banks are the only business I know that you lend money to and are charged by the lendee ( bank) to access the money you lend them.

They are also the only business I know that sets the rates at which you lend them money, which they in turn lend to other business.

For the most part, the amendments seem fair, but there is one area that needs to be sorted out and that is schedule 132A  , Section 5  and Twelfth schedule part 3. minimum service package.

The sticking points appears to be the 120 free transactions per customer per year, but as far as I am concerned this is an easy fix.

There are some transaction that uses more resources than others and as such should be priced differently based on the size of the transaction.

The ability to or the consumers willingness to pay should be part of the consideration to arrive at a position so we can get to passing and  implementation of the act.

I am therefore suggesting a tiered fee structure.

Tier 1   Ave accounts  balances less than $100,000 per mth , 120 free transaction per year

Tier 2. Ave account balances $101,000 – $500,000 per mth, 80 free transactions per year

Tier 3. Ave account balances $501,000 – $1,000,000 per mth, 60 free transactions per year.

Tier 4 . Ave account balance > $1,000,000  36 free transactions per year.

This I believe will protect the most vulnerable with the least amount of resources and ability to pay, while allowing those with more resources and a willingness to pay progressively gets less free transaction.

As it relates to dormant account, I believe the act must not waiver on this part as banks should not be allowed to steal money from accounts considered to be dormant. I however have one issue  with the wording of this section Part 7 E, iii and iv. iii says there should be no transaction on the account and iv says the benefits attached to the accounts shall remain.

One benefit attached to an account is the right to earn interest, so if that should remain then there must be a transaction on the account to post that interest. I therefore believes that the wording should be examined further to make those two points do not seem  contradict each other.

The ease at which accounts can be opened and or moved between banks should be examined within the framework of local and international best practices . This is where I believe we can gain a lot . If I am not satisfied with any of the two big banks, I can move my money to another bank that charges me lower fees.

My two cents.

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